Putting Lotto on hold would be 'irrational' - deputy minister

2015-07-09 14:01
Mzwandile Masina. (GCIS)

Mzwandile Masina. (GCIS)

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Cape Town - It is unlikely that the Lotto will be halted while bidders Ithuba and Gidani are “fighting in court”, the Department of Trade and Industry said on Thursday.

This after the High Court in Pretoria declared the decision to award the lottery licence to Ithuba invalid.

Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry Mzwandile Masina said halting the lottery while the matter is still being heard would be “irrational”.

“We hope it won’t reach the point it did the last time,” he said, referring to Gidani’s predecessor, Uthingo, challenging its successor about eight years ago. 

As a result, there was no lottery for six months.

“Our view is that we want to appeal to both Ithuba and Gidani to be considerate. We did not start this for them. It is to contribute to good causes. That is the primary objective that they should bear in mind.”

Gidani last year asked the court to review the decision to award the lottery licence to Ithuba, and on Wednesday Judge Neil Tuchten ruled that the decision of Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies was invalid and that the licence be set aside, provided that the operation of the order was suspended for a month.

The rewarding of the licence was remitted to the minister for reconsideration.

The court ruled that the minister had 31 days to rectify areas of discrepancy in the licence, where Davies reportedly exceeded his powers in conferring certain post-licence conditions to the award.

Masina said a legal team from his department and the National Lottery Commission was working on this.

“We are confident we will be able to respond within this period,” he said. 

The issuing of long term licences would also be considered by the department.

“Internationally, the lottery licence is issued for between 15 and 20 years once off,” Masina pointed out.

He added that money was now being spent on legal fees instead of going to charity.

“Instead of giving the money to good causes, we have to spend it on fighting for decisions.

“We need to look into how to put an end to these long, protracted processes to court because they are not helpful to what we are trying to do.” 

Read more on:    gidani  |  ithuba  |  rob davies  |  mzwandile masina  |  lottery

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