South Africa: SIU raids lottery offices in Kimberley

The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) has obtained a search and seizure warrant from the Kimberley Magistrates’ Court in the Northern Cape to search the offices of the National Lotteries Commission (NLC).

The warrant, which was obtained on Tuesday, authorizes the SIU to search for and seize evidence from the NLC’s offices in Kimberly, in connection with the funding of non-profit organizations (NPOs) dedicated to uplifting communities in the province.

Accompanied by members of the Priority Crime Prevention Directorate (Hawks), SIU investigators are currently raiding the offices of the NLC to seize evidence that may aid in an ongoing investigation.

The SIU has been reliably told by whistleblowers that NLC officials allegedly hired the services of runners, who were tasked with scouting out NPOs in the province and encouraging them to apply for funding from the NLC.

Immediately after funding was approved and disbursed to NPOs, it is alleged that the riders, along with NLC officials, would split approximately 30% of the funding.

Fearing that the normal procedure for requesting documents under SIU Law 74 of 1996 could compromise crucial evidence, the SIU applied to court for a search and seizure warrant to search the NLC offices.

The SIU is seeking to seize documents, laptops and computer hard drives.

Under Proclamation R32 of 2020, the SIU was authorized by President Cyril Ramaphosa to investigate allegations of corruption and maladministration in the affairs of the NLC and the conduct of its officials.

The proclamation covers offenses that occurred between January 1, 2014 and November 6, 2020, the date of publication of this proclamation, or that occurred before January 1, 2014.

It also covers all post-proclamation offenses that are relevant to, connected with, incidental to, or involve the same persons, entities, or contracts investigated under Proclamation R32 of 2020.

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