Official probe of National Lotteries Board chairman starts – thanks to M24i
The Department of Trade and Industry has announced an official, independent probe into the National Lotteries Board chairman Professor Alfred Nevhutanda and lottery payments to a company in which his daughter is an executive.
Last November we revealed how the National Lotteries Board had approved more than R41m in funding to an entity called Makhaya Arts and Culture – which just happens to employ Nevhuntanda’s daughter, Murendwa.
As we reported at the time:
This made Makhaya Arts and Culture – the company employing Professor Alfred Nevhutanda’s daughter – the biggest winner of Lotto funds among arts and culture organisations in the last year.
The award uncovered by Media24 Investigations has now sparked uncomfortable questions for Nevhutanda, a prominent Limpopo ANC member.
His daughter Murendwa Nevhutanda, a 22-year-old film school graduate, started working as a marketing executive for Makhaya in May last year.
Only weeks before she was hired, Makhaya’s multimillion-rand grant from the Lotteries Board was approved.
The award to Makhaya is more than the R40m controversially given to the National Youth Development Agency for last December’s World Youth Festival.
Now the DTI has made the following announcement:
Following numerous allegations about the allocation of R64.1m grant to Makhaya Arts and Craft by the Arts and Culture Distribution Agency of the National Lotteries Board, the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) has resolved to appoint an independent investigator to look at the allegations. It is alleged that the grant was allocated to Makhaya Arts and Craft as the daughter of the Chairperson of the National Lotteries Board, Prof Alfred Nevhutanda, is employed at this organisation. At this point there is no evidence or information given to the dti to back these allegations. Professor Nevhutanda has dismissed this saying he was not involved in this matter. The allocation to Makhaya Arts and Craft was made by the Arts and Culture Distribution Agency and the National Lotteries Board does not get involved in adjudication processes of any of the agencies.
In the interest of transparency, the dti has resolved to appoint an investigator to look at the process followed in allocating the grant to Makhaya Arts and Craft, and whether there is a link between the allocation of the grant and the employ of the daughter of the Chairperson by the organisation. The Chairperson has agreed to cooperate fully with the investigation. The independent assessment will help clear this matter. the dti expects findings and recommendations in the next 15 days business day.