Home National SIU freezes pension benefits of former NLC COO Letwaba

SIU freezes pension benefits of former NLC COO Letwaba

by Thys Khiba
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By Thys Khiba – The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) granted permission to freeze pension benefits of former Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the National Lotteries Commission, Philemon Letwaba for allegedly benefiting from monies received by NPOs from the NLC. 

This follows a step taken by the SIU approach the Special Tribunal on an urgent basis to freeze the pension benefits of Letwaba. 

SIU
SIU



Letwaba resigned as the COO of the NLC pending the institution of a disciplinary hearing into his role in the distribution of NLC funds to several Non-Profit Organisations (NPO).

“An investigation by the SIU in the affairs of NLC had revealed that Mr. Letwaba allegedly benefited personally from monies received by NPOs from the NLC,” said the SIU in a statement.

The Special Tribunal granted the SIU a preservation order to hold at least R2.8 million pension benefits of Letwaba.

“The Special Tribunal order, dated 16 September 2022, interdicts the Liberty Group — the pension administrator — from paying out pension benefits to the value of approximately R2.8 million due to Mr. Letwaba, pending the final determination of an application to be brought by the SIU against Mr. Letwaba within 60 days.”

Investigations done by the SIU indicated Letwaba allegedly used friends and family businesses, and Trusts to receive money from NPOs for his benefit and that of his family.

“In one of several NLC funded projects investigated by the SIU, it was revealed that a Limpopo Province based NPO received approximately R25 million for the refurbishment of a torched school in Vuwani.” 

In less than 13 days after the NPO received the money, it allegedly transferred approximately R4 million to UnbrandProperties without evidence of work being done and in violation of the funding agreement.

The names of the businesses and Trusts are:

• Unbrand Properties

• Mosokodi Water Solutions and Drilling

• Mosokodi Farming Project

• Kaone Wethu

• Redtag

• Mosokodi Trust

• Letwaba Family Trust

Meanwhile, recently the unit has been given another a preservation order to freeze a R27 million luxury property linked to the former chairperson of the National Lotteries Commission, Professor Alfred Nevhutanda.

President Cyril Ramaphosa authorised that the SIU to investigate allegations of corruption and maladministration in the affairs of NLC and the conduct of NLC officials, and to recover any financial losses suffered by the State. 

The Proclamation R32 of 2020 covers offences which took place between 1 January 2014 and 6 November 2020, the date of publication of this Proclamation, or which took place prior to 1 January 2014. 

“It also covers any offences after the proclamation date that are relevant to, connected with, incidental to the matters or involve the same persons, entities or contracts investigated under authority of Proclamation R32 of 2020.”

CENTRAL NEWS

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