Staff memo rocks Lotto

2012-02-05 16:00

Johannesburg - A memo by National Lotteries Board senior staff claims that former chief executive Vevek Ram received pay from a lottery beneficiary with the full knowledge of the board and worked as CEO for 12 years without an employment contract.

The memo from a key national lottery funding committee lifts the lid on new allegations of corruption, incompetence and illegality in the organisation that controls about R3bn in payouts annually.

Ram suddenly resigned two weeks ago.

The memo charges that 10 staff members were fired after they raised questions about his lack of a contract and his management.

The lack of a performance contract is considered a serious breach of corporate governance.

The memo to Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies, a copy of which is in the possession of City Press, was written by five members of the lottery’s arts and culture distributing agency, the body in charge of awarding hundreds of millions of rands each year to organisations and charities that apply.

Auditor General

The ministry and National Lotteries Board hit back, challenging the memo’s claims. They said Ram had cleared his association with the lottery beneficiary.

Ram denied the claims, but could not explain why his alleged lack of a contract had been raised by the Auditor General.

Lottery critics say the claims in the memo add to the burgeoning controversy over the activities of the organisation.

The document exposes “rivalry and animosity” between the board and the distribution agency, and suggests that there are serious irregularities in the awarding of lottery grants to beneficiaries.

The board is facing increasing pressure, including public protests by non-governmental organisations, over its funding practices and claims that maladministration and corruption are rife.

The memo, written in July 2011, just before the expiry of that distributing agency’s term, emerged after City Press revealed that Lotteries Board chairperson Alfred Nevhutanda’s daughter was employed by a company that received R41m in funding.

Further allegations raised in the letter include:

» That there were “inexplicable” discrepancies from month to month in the amounts available for payout and the number of pending funding applications, suggesting “incompetence and mismanagement” of both the funds and the applications;

»That the board illegally took control of deciding lottery grants for the arts distributing agency even though the law separates these powers;

» That the board illegally appointed an appeal and review committee for lottery grants, a situation that is not provided for in law.

The distribution agencies - there are three - report directly to the minister and decide which applicants will get funds.

Decisions are supposed to be independent and can only be reversed by the minister if there are discrepancies or queries.

The memo suggests that the board was eager to get rid of the distribution agency’s members by advertising for replacements behind their backs before their term ended.

They claimed agency members traditionally served two terms of five years.

In the letter, agency members begged Davies to extend their term so that they could finish adjudicating the pending applications.


Instead, Davies had authorised the board itself to take over the functions of the agency, even though this was illegal under the Lotteries Act, they claimed.

Of the letter’s five signatories, only one, Professor Dorcas Jafta, was reappointed to the agency in November.

One source who has knowledge of the memo said the minister had not acknowledged receiving the memo and had not intervened decisively, which resulted in delays in the distribution of funds to beneficiaries.

“There were a lot of things that were being done illegally in the lottery and the minister seemed to turn a blind eye, even though these issues were raised with him,” said one insider with knowledge of the memo.

Jafta said she didn’t want to comment on the merits of the memo, but was happy that there was restructuring taking place within the board.

  • Comrade - 2012-02-05 16:19


      John - 2012-02-05 16:43

      Is the lottery monopoly not illegal? The charities must get together recreate their own lotteries again.

      Dirk - 2012-02-05 16:46

      Arrest them, including Comrade Rob, the "minister" Can we have a report of anything where the regime is involved, where there is not corruption

      goyougoodthing - 2012-02-05 17:09

      Like we never guessed there was something wrong with Lotto. Pass the salt...

      Sean - 2012-02-05 17:30

      Bunch of f@cken criminals !! All those big BEE boyz !! What do the poor gain from BEE ? Nothing !!!

      Xavier7034 - 2012-02-05 17:47

      Another Majola debacle? Al La SA Cricket who, as CEO of the organisation has the affrontery to break down and cry, and then tell us he knows NOTHING about the laws surrounding Corporate this many more? It is totally embarassing!

      Tc - 2012-02-05 18:42

      Let the Plunderers proceed. I am surprised there is anything left. There is definitely very little left for the poor and needy - yet they continue to support their plundering ANC establishment! There is no logic in this country.

      Ian - 2012-02-05 20:39

      I think they should start a campaign whereby they offer rewards for government officials who steal less than R2 000 000 a year, it might stem the flow.......

      Fredster - 2012-02-06 07:30

      I do not play the lotto. It is a trap set by these punks for normal working people to give them money in a false hope to get rich. You will NEVER win it, so stop feeding them your money!!!

  • AyGeewils - 2012-02-05 16:20

    More of the same family of apples - rotten ...

  • Godfrey - 2012-02-05 16:27

    The greedy corrupt freedom fighters are without conscience, pity or principle and destroy everything they touch.

  • Robert - 2012-02-05 16:30

    Again - corruption, if you want to fire someone, put them in charge of money, they cant keep their hands out the till !!

  • Steve - 2012-02-05 16:34

    Haven't bought a Lotto ticket since COSATU was given money for a party. Could this be the tip of the iceburg?

  • willem.wulfse - 2012-02-05 16:36

    Even the numbers are not random. Each number has a magnetic value which allows the winning combination to be predetermined. Therefore if a buddy needed money, the system could allow the friend to win and of course benefit the facilitator with a cut.

      Godfrey - 2012-02-05 20:04

      Doubt it. They don't need to. The draw is never live. It is pre-recorded. All they do is do the draw, fill out a ticket for a girl friend, wife, or mate and declare them the winner. The silly 'auditor' girl with the clip board is simply a stage prop.

  • Peter - 2012-02-05 16:44

    Every one should boycott the lotto then there will be no money to steal and you will save more money your self.

  • ReunionofIntelligentMinds - 2012-02-05 16:47

    Would be VERY interesting to see who the big lotto winners are and how many of them have connections with the lottery board. I hope they also investigate how many millions do not find their way to the lotto draws - example - a guaranteed draw of say R20 million being advertised and a couple of weeks before the draw numerous rollovers which eventually are not being added to the guaranteed R20 million.

      Xavier7034 - 2012-02-05 17:52

      They tell us that some of the money for the BIG "Guaranteed" payouts come from people who have not claimed for a year. But what can we believe when they cannot fund the people who have applied, have been approved, and then they have withdrawn their promise? And that after they paid substantial amounts to the Youth League for a kissing party and balloons (was it that? - may have been condoms :-)) Something VERY strange

  • Getafix - 2012-02-05 17:01

    Just don't buy lotto tickets then. I rate they rigged anyways.

  • Starlight3 - 2012-02-05 17:04

    And the corruption is again defended by those in power!

  • Gordon - 2012-02-05 17:06

    Simple, just dont buy a ticket...

  • mengelbrecht1 - 2012-02-05 17:13

    Boycott the LOTTO. Only way to get these people to sit up and listen.

  • chris.khanye - 2012-02-05 17:13

    May anyone show me a facet of our lives that's not yet corrupted?

      Anthony - 2012-02-05 17:54

      its a good question chris ---let me think-------sorry------- cant think of a single institution-----perhaps escom-no sorry, perhaps SABC-no sorry, perhaps municipalities-no sorry---looks like everything the anc touches turns to corrupt

      Lara - 2012-02-05 18:34

      Well, this is a truly frightening question. I tried to think of a nice comeback, but sadly could not come up, even with something in jest. You can't even trust in cricket anymore.

  • Larry - 2012-02-05 17:24

    These guy's can not do anything on a grand scale, without scaling on a grand scale.

  • Anton - 2012-02-05 17:47

    And that why I don't play Lotto

      AyGeewils - 2012-02-05 18:18

      Me too - never have never will - its just another pot for the vultures to plunder and it has been proved worldwide to make no difference to poverty.

      Lynn - 2012-02-05 18:34

      Stopped playing three years ago. Its just another way for the corrupt to take more from us.

  • Johannes - 2012-02-05 17:47

    With these allegations going around, it is difficult as accept that the Lotto/Lotto plus/Powerball numbers are randomly drawn. Hans

      HendrikAfrika - 2012-02-05 18:44

      The numbers are randomly drawn, they just change the numbers on their tickets after the effect. Piece of cake if you are in the driving seat. These guys might not seem so bright but they are much more street wise than we give them credit for - in the cloack and dagger stuff. Let me use an actual example to explain this. Had a black collegea once - at a tertiary institution. Very bright chap, one of my old students. He was the examiner and lecturer on 1styear subject. I was the specialist moderator 'keeping tabs on him'. I was most impressed, very good, high quality exam papers. If he was prepared to let his students write these papers then he must be maintaing a high standard in the lecturing situation. In the beginning I moderated every exam answer sheet that he marked. Fair standard of marking, not pulling any punches nor excessively strict in his marking. I approved his marking standard. After the first few exams i just modereated the required number of selected answer sheets. What I did not know was that after I moderated the candidates examination scrypts/answer sheets (and handed it back to admin with my approval of the marks) he just changed the summarised mark sheet showing the marks of each of the candidates, the results that were captured on the computer system. He changed the marks - at a price. Male students R1000 and females a roll in the hay, he was still a young man. He was found out but they keep an eye on any opportunities - streetwise.

  • Anton - 2012-02-05 17:49

    And that's why I don't play Lotto

  • pws69 - 2012-02-05 17:53

    Yet again, ANC corruption and p!ssing all over our laws. One law for the pigs at the trough, and another for the rest of us. Remember, it was only a few short weeks ago that this scum was protesting their innocence? They looked us in the eyes and LIED. Very ANC of them.

  • Michael Kleber - 2012-02-05 17:56

    Is there any govt organisation or department that doesn't have corruption , nepotism , incompetence if there is let us know could even have a national competition to find such a dept

  • roberta.keeling - 2012-02-05 17:58

    There is a lot of bad stuff going on at the ;ottery. A lot of self enrichment as well through devious means. Put these people in charge of cash cows and money disappears, or is awarded to those that do not deserve it. The Lottery needs a complete overhaul by an independent body!

  • Robert - 2012-02-05 18:41

    why am i NOT surprised?

  • Blane - 2012-02-05 19:24

    Yet again , yet again .

  • Blane - 2012-02-05 19:26

    Corruption , stealing should become national sports , watch this lot win gold each time .

  • sue.da.nim - 2012-02-05 19:39

    all are skimming off the top so wtf do they really care

  • Stephen - 2012-02-05 20:25

    Wow, really? Shocking to believe!

  • Power - 2012-02-05 21:09

    Maybe the people who complain must start to vote for ANY other party, except the ANC - because they are stealing the peoples money - Get rid of the ANC !!!

  • Johann - 2012-02-05 23:45

    Where are the ANC stalwarts the comrades in the trenches , you may steal that's alright but to be caught that's abig sin

  • Susan - 2012-02-06 07:01

    poor people standing in the line to enrich the rich and corupt individuals!!

  • reynard.j.debeer - 2012-02-06 08:30

    Only figured this out now?

  • Xinobia - 2012-02-06 08:50

    The minister probably turned a blind eye in the direction of the fat payment he received under the table. They should all be fired and prosecuted!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Roslyn - 2012-02-06 09:07

    What a bunch of thieves....TATA LOTTO.

  • esme.collins1 - 2012-02-06 12:29

    Sean, is it not possible that you can write something without all the innuendos of swearing? You sound like a reasonable, intelligent guy but being outsmarted by your own debauched tongue!! Sad!

  • Ruth - 2012-02-09 10:53

    No wonder I have not won even three numbers!!! Bigger fool am I for wasting my hard earned money

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