Ex-Lottery chair targets Ramaphosa’s proclamation

The erstwhile National Lotteries Commission (NLC) board chairperson, Alfred Nevhutanda, is dragging President Cyril Ramaphosa to court over the SIU proclamation the head of state signed in 2020.

In documents filed at the Pretoria High Court, Nevhutanda told the court that Ramaphosa had no right to sign the proclamation in the first place because the NLC or any of its subsidiaries were not state institutions.

But further, he insists that the proclamation and its terms were so vague and wide that they gave the SIU sweeping powers to investigate matters it ought not to have investigated.


Nevhutanda contends that the court of law should review and set aside such terms because they were “nonsensical.” He believes that Ramaphosa wrongly applied the SIU Act in the NLC matter, adding that the court must correct him.

“It is my submission, in the first instance, that the proclamation cannot pass muster as neither the affairs of the NLC or the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF) nor the distribution agencies fall within the ambit of Sections 2(2)(a) and 2(2)(f) of the SIU Act,” he wrote in court papers.

“This is premised on my reasoning that neither the NLC nor the NLDTF, or for that matter, the distribution, is a state institution. It does not receive or expend public money or control state assets or public property, prerequisites for the prescripts of the SIU Act to find application.”

The legal tussle emanates from Ramaphosa’s proclamation in 2020, following a string of reports of maladministration during Nevhutanda’s tenure.

Nevhutanda expressed to the court his displeasure that Ramaphosa proceeded with the proclamation, despite the NLC top brass having previously addressed the allegation in response to media reports he believed to be untrue.

Nevhutanda found it particularly unsettling when the SIU issued a proclamation against the forensic investigation they had assigned to look into the purportedly dubious grant funding. Then trade and industry minister Rob Davies refused to accept the results of the forensic investigation.


His successor, Ebrahim Patel, demanded an internal audit with a full list of approved proactive funding projects between 2016 and 2018.

Nevhutanda  said the NCL  top brass was bemused by Patel’s insistence on rejecting their submission, which continued well into 2020 when the minister went as far as making sweeping statements about “allegations of fraud and irregularities into the allocation of proactive funding” and commissioned an independent forensic investigation.

He revealed that an antagonistic relationship had developed between Patel and the NLC, to the point that the minister appointed the forensic investigators without informing the NLC.

The police allegedly received an affidavit supporting the preliminary forensic report late in 2020, but Nevhutanda claims no one is aware of the extent to which they have used this affidavit. Patel allegedly concealed the forensic report from the NLC leadership  and  withheld his request for the SIU proclamation, which they only learned about after it was  gazetted.

Nevhutanda and his colleagues were shocked when the SIU swooped into the NLC offices,  confiscating documents, instituting the investigation, engaging in civil litigation, and making recommendations to the NDPP for the prosecution of
certain individuals.

It was for these reasons Nevhutanda was praying to the court to set aside the proclamation and compel Ramaphosa to provide a record that informed his decision.

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