Man arrested for R5m Lotto fraud

2013-08-11 13:33

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Johannesburg - A controversial Zimbabwean-born businessman has been arrested for allegedly defrauding South Africa’s national lottery of almost R5m.

According to the Sunday Independent, politically-connected Mutumwa Mawere was arrested in Johannesburg last week after having allegedly used his African Heritage Society organisation to fraudulently secure a R4.5m grant from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund, which is used to fund charities.

Mawere, who has dual citizenship, this year won a Constitutional Court case in Harare that allowed him to vote in the recent Zimbabwean elections. He has been living in South Africa since fleeing Zimbabwe after the Mugabe government instituted a corruption probe against him. His mining assets in Zimbabwe were frozen by the government, which took over his mining firm, African Resources Limited, early this year.

The Hawks confirmed last week that they had been investigating allegations that Mawere used the lottery money to enrich himself. He allegedly applied for the R4.5m grant under the pretence that his heritage organisation would build a “corporate heritage museum” in Rivonia, which would promote South African heritage.

According to Hawks spokesperson Captain Paul Ramoloko, Mawere had further lied to the lotteries board when giving feedback on how the money granted was used. “He claimed that a two-day workshop was held at a luxury hotel in Sandton, but it was later revealed that it had in fact hosted the launch of his book titled Conversations with Mawere,” said Ramoloko.

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