South Africa


Tarnished lottery top brass Thabang Mampane resigns with ‘immediate effect’

Tarnished lottery top brass Thabang Mampane resigns with ‘immediate effect’
Thabang Mampane served as Commissioner of the Lottery for almost ten years. Massive corruption occurred during her ten-year term. (Photo: NLC photo (fair use) supplied by GroundUp)

The National Lotteries Commission was overwhelmed with corruption during the Commissioner’s tenure.

The Commissioner of the National Lotteries Commission (NLC) has resigned “with immediate effect” just weeks before her term expires at the end of September. This is according to several sources.

Thabang Charlotte Mampane served ten years as Commissioner — effectively chief executive officer of the NLC. Her first five-year contract was extended in September 2017.

The NLC has been overwhelmed with corruption over the past few years. GroundUp has uncovered hundreds of millions of rands of misspent Lottery funding on Mampane’s watch, and what we have reported is likely the tip of the iceberg.

Her resignation comes just over two weeks after we revealed that Lottery funding meant to build a Limpopo school razed by fire during a protest, had been used to pay for her luxury home in a golf estate.

The house, in the upmarket Pecanwood Estate, which abuts Hartebeespoort Dam in North West Province, is registered in the name of a trust in which Mampane and her husband, Samuel, are both trustees. The couple and their two adult children are all beneficiaries of the trust.

Mampane’s house is one of several that GroundUp has revealed was bought with Lottery grants meant to go to fund good causes, especially in rural and marginalised communities.

Mampane, who last year earned R4.5-million, went on leave on the same day that the GroundUp story was published.

We understand that Mampane was to face disciplinary action in connection with the use of Lottery money to purchase her house. It’s unclear what the effect of her sudden resignation will be on this process.

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Thendo Ramagoma, the former deputy of the NLC’s Arts and Culture distributing agency and current legal executive, has been acting as Commissioner since Mampane went on leave two weeks ago.

The purchase of the house is under investigation by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU), which has been probing corruption involving Lottery funds ever since President Cyril Ramaphosa signed a proclamation in October 2020 authorising the investigation.

Mampane was recently called in by the SIU to answer questions about the 2016 purchase of the house for R3.6-million. A few weeks afterwards GroundUp, which had been investigating the house purchase since receiving a tip-off last year, published its story.

A view f Thabang Charlotte Mampane's house on the Pecanwood golf estate.

Mampane’s trust owns a house on the Pecanwood golf estate, bought with money from the national lottery. (Photo: from Pecanwood website:, published as fair use, supplied by GroundUp)

Under Mampane, the NLC’s relationship with Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel, who has oversight of the lottery, has been adversarial and marked with litigation (see here and here). Communication between the minister and the NLC was largely reduced to writing, often in the form of lawyers’ letters.

This is not the first time that Mampane has resigned from a high-powered job. In 2010, she resigned as acting chief operations officer of the SABC, after she was caught on CCTV camera eavesdropping on a board meeting where her performance was being discussed.

It followed the SABC board’s dismal performance before Scopa (Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts) the previous month. After the Scopa hearing, Mampane came under pressure to give up her post, but she retained her well-paid job as a group executive in the office of the CEO.

In 2012, she received a “golden handshake” of R4.3-million from the SABC to prematurely terminate her contract. She joined the NLC as Commissioner shortly afterwards.

Mampane did not respond to a request for comment about her resignation, sent to her via WhatsApp and Signal.

NLC spokesperson Ndivhuho Mafela said he was not aware of Mampane’s resignation and was trying to verify it. Reminded of the deadline in the original request, he said he had to “follow protocols”. He had not responded by the time of publication. This story will be updated when, and if, he comments. DM

First published by GroundUp.

UPDATE: After this article was published the NLC Board published a statement saying: “The Board acknowledges the resignation of Ms TCC Mampane from her position as Commissioner of the National Lotteries Commission, effective 15 August 2022, and [is] considering the letter of resignation. The process of the appointment of the new Commissioner is well under way. The Board ensures the efficient and effective operation of the Commission, while processes are under way.”


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Clare Yeowell says:

    How much more do we have to endure from these thieves before someone arrests them? I hope the SIU seizes all her assets including her house. And make her pay back every cent.

    • Truida Oosthuizen says:

      Can DM please do an investigation of the golden career paths of these crooks. It seems they are moving from one choice placement to the next with ease and no indictment/scandal/guilt is enough to get them in jail or just stop from moving to the next plum job. I have seen it more than once how they jump from plum to plum.

  • Rory Macnamara says:

    resigned to keep all benefits – this is the stupid thinking of these corrupt and evil people. straight to jail for her and recover all money to pay back! sickening! these criminals have no shame.

  • Paul Davis says:

    You earn R4,5m a year and you want to steal more! Fascinating! The word “trough” comes to mind.

  • Howard Lazarus says:

    Seems like just another corrupt ANC deployee. The list grows by the day.

  • Jaqueline Perkes says:

    The rot really stinks to high heaven.

  • Katharine Ambrose says:

    If the courts just checked all the ill-gotten houses of the cadres they could rehouse them all in gaol.

  • R S says:

    Considering all the corruption that’s been uncovered by Groundup I’m honestly surprised it took this long. Hopefully this doesn’t mean she gets a free pass for all the theft she is allegedly involved in.

  • Marius Bosman says:

    Nothing will happen to her. She will remain stuffing herself at the trough

  • Hermann Funk says:

    Have these useless morons in the ANC and those close to them a real desire to see the country going up in flames?

  • Michael Forsyth says:

    “In 2012, she received a “golden handshake” of R4.3-million from the SABC to prematurely terminate her contract. She joined the NLC as Commissioner shortly afterwards.” It is unbelievable. Dystopian. What the actual F#C#?

  • Danielle Van der Hucht says:

    I don’t know enough of the ins and outs of this story. But, considering the great salary she has, why would she need lottery money to buy a house?

  • Johan Marais says:

    She will probably deployed by the ANC Cader Deployment Committee in a few months time to another State Owned Enterprise where she would continue to do what she does best.

    • Rod H MacLeod says:

      Guys, it’s “cadre” as in “cah-dreh”. It’s a French word, and is definitely NOT pronounced “kaydur” or “cader”. Whoever started calling it “kaydur” should be shot forthwith.

  • Richard Fearon says:

    How did it take so long for the lottery scam to be seem . KPMG should have been the flag here . But no .. let the plunder continue ..

  • Michael Clark says:

    Is there nothing that this ANC government touches thats not overwhelmed with corruption. So she has now resigned which means she will walk with her ill gotten gains. The SIU which reports to the ANC will “invistigate” and then walk away and the poor will stay in there shacks voting ANC, and tomorrow another cadre will start feeding at the trough.

  • Bryan Macpherson says:

    “Mampane was to face disciplinary action in connection with the use of Lottery money to purchase her house” – We can only hope that she is charged for criminal activities, found guilty and spends a long time in prison.

  • Brett Trollip says:

    None of this news comes as any surprise. The system is designed specifically to promote this behaviour and it once again proves that government/s (the world over) are not fit for purpose. The only way we can stop this is to get up off our backsides and become activists for specific causes. We may not make a difference in the big picture but every crack will become a fissure in time. Remember they are playing with our money and our childrens future. Its time. Stop fixating on whats happening and start focusing on what we individually need to change and then do it.

  • Clive Soldin says:

    “When honesty has become self-sacrifice…..”
    What a disappointment.
    Is there no limit to criminality in SA ?

  • Mike Loewe says:

    Huge respect to Ray Jo for taking on this festering network at great personal cost. How many vulnerable South Africans, children and women especially, have suffered from this evil period of ruthless, cold-blooded social robbery?

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