DA guns for Hawks spokesperson whose NPO received R3m donation from lotteries commission

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Hawks spokesperson  Hangwani Mulaudzi.
Hawks spokesperson Hangwani Mulaudzi.
Deaan Vivier, Netwerk24
  • Hawks spokesperson Hangwani Mulaudzi says there is a smear campaign against him following the backlash of receiving a R3 million donation from the National Lotteries Commission.
  • The DA says it has seen an internal NLC document confirming the amount disbursed and the date of payment to Mulaudzi’s organisation.
  • The official opposition will be submitting parliamentary questions to Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel and Police Minister Bheki Cele to establish if they are aware of the matter.

Hawks spokesperson Hangwani Mulaudzi says there is nothing stopping him from being a member of a non-profit organisation.

This came in the wake of the backlash Mulaudzi faced after receiving a R3 million donation from the National Lotteries Commission (NLC) to establish a sports centre for the community of Mashamba in Limpopo.

In a statement, DA MP Mat Cuthbert said they had also seen an internal NLC document which confirmed the name of the beneficiary, the amount disbursed and the date of payment to Mulaudzi's organisation.

"While the DA is supportive of initiatives that aim to develop our rural towns and villages, one has to question the fact that a senior member of the Hawks has received such funding from the NLC. This is because the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) has recently handed over evidence related to Denzhe Primary Care scandal to the Hawks to investigate," Cuthbert said.

READNational Lotteries Commission: Call to axe board amid corruption claims

Speaking to ENCA, Mulaudzi said: "There is no problem with that. There is nothing that prohibits me from being a member of an NPO. What is critical here is that it's not about the Hawks. It is about the individual. The individual has been part of this smear campaign since 2016. I am aware that I might have erred using my name, but me coming from a Limpopo village, felt it was necessary so that people can see that I am ploughing back into my community."

"I have been called captured," he said, refusing to name the "forces" behind these allegations.

Asked about the DA's assertions, he said: "The DA is fuelling this narrative that I am corrupt. As to what I have done, I don't know, my job entails communicating issues of the Hawks."

READ ALSOPatel releases National Lotteries Commission's beneficiary lists after month-long wrangle

Last month, NLC chairperson Alfred Nevhutanda told Parliament he would not resign, despite a Department of Trade and Industry probe into the disbursement of lottery funds leading to a police investigation into corruption under his watch.

The department authorised a probe into allegations of graft at the NLC in March 2020, "after numerous articles continued to appear in the media alleging abuse of lottery funding".

The probe focused on four NLC Proactive Funding Projects allegedly linked to the COO, Philemon Letwaba, his friends and relatives.

The NLC suspended Letwaba in February, and the committee heard on Wednesday that he was still getting paid.

However, he would not be allowed back at the commission until the investigations were completed.

Cuthbert said the DA would be submitting parliamentary questions to Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel and Police Minister Bheki Cele to ascertain whether they were aware of the disbursement of funds at the time and whether they deemed it to be a conflict of interest.

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