How the former Lottery board chair paid R6.3-million for his Rolls Royce
Pretoria high court freezes former Lottery board chair Alfred Nevhutanda’s luxury car and property.
A R6.3-million Rolls Royce Phantom and a R1-million property in an office park linked to former National Lotteries Commission (NLC) board chairperson Alfred Nevhutanda have been frozen by the Pretoria high court. Both were bought using Lottery grant money.
The car and the property are included in a preservation order granted by the court against several people on 28 September. The court order freezes four properties in Polokwane and Louis Trichardt, Limpopo, and three luxury vehicles, with a combined value of approximately R14-million.
The order was granted in terms of the 1998 Prevention of Organised Crime Act, which aims “to combat organised crime, money laundering and criminal gang activities”.
“The properties are preserved pending an application for a forfeiture order and registered owners are interdicted from dealing in any manner with the frozen properties,” said SIU spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago.
According to the SIU the Rolls Royce was acquired by Nevhutanda for R6.3-million in August 2016 and over R4.5-million of stolen NLC funds was transferred in five payments to the dealership where he bought it.
The property, a unit in an office park in Polokwane in Limpopo, was bought through Mshandukani Foundation, a non-profit company headed up by Mashudu Shandukani. The SIU has said that Shandukani is also implicated in other cases where Lottery funds were siphoned off. The property is registered in the name of a trust of which Nevhutanda, his wife, their children and his siblings, are the beneficiaries, according to the SIU.
Also frozen in terms of this week’s application by the Assets Forfeiture Unit (AFU) and the SIU in the Pretoria high court on 28 September was a top-of-the-range BMW M760 Li xDrive belonging to Nevhutanda’s son-in-law, Meshack Makhubela, who is married to Nevhutanda’s daughter, Murendwa Sharon. Makhubela’s company, VNMM Consulting Engineers, made payments totalling R4.3-million towards the purchase of his father-in-law’s house.
An earlier preservation order froze Nevhutanda’s luxury two-hectare Pretoria estate and a 14-hectare plot in Pretoria owned by him and his wife, Tshilidzi.
Also included in the latest order are a farm in Limpopo, two plots of land — this one and this one in Louis Trichardt, and a BMW linked to Mokondeleli Collin Tshisimba and his wife Fhulufhelo Promise Kharivhe. The couple and companies linked to them have been identified by the SIU as key players in Lottery grant-related corruption. The couple are currently opposing an earlier preservation order for two of their luxury properties in Gauteng. The SIU says they were part of a group of people who siphoned off hundreds of millions of rands between 2016 and 2019 from lottery grants meant to uplift poor people and communities.
The dodgy Rolls Royce deal
In several instances, the Lottery money passed through several bank accounts before payment was made to the dealership where the vehicle was purchased.
This is how more than R4.5-million found its way to the Rolls Royce dealer:
- The first payment of R1-million was from Tshikovha Graduate Academy and came from a R55.4-million Lottery grant to sink boreholes in rural areas in four provinces. Tshikovha then transferred R4.5-million to Redtaq, a company closely associated with former NLC chief operating officer Phillemon Letwaba and his family. At the time Redtaq’s bank account had a credit balance of only R14,403.56. Soon after receiving the money, Redtaq paid R1-million to the Rolls Royce dealership on 10 March 2016;
- Another R1-million payment came from an NLC grant of R24.9-million to the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) for “promoting and developing high-performance sports.” Sascoc and its affiliates were by far the biggest recipients of Lottery funding before being kicked off the Lottery gravy train.
- Sascoc had applied for the grant on behalf of the Mshandukani Foundation, a non-profit entity, headed up by Mashudu Shandukani. Between 21 July and 27 July, Sascoc paid the Foundation R24.4-million in three payments. Before the first payment, the Foundation had R585 in its account.
- The Foundation, in turn, paid R3.6-million to Ironbridge Travelling Agency, in which several members of Letwaba’s family have been directors. His wife, Rebotile Malomane, who has been implicated in dodgy Lottery grants, is currently the sole director of Ironbridge.
- A week later, on 10 August 2016, Ironbridge, which had a balance of R21,953.13 in its account before the deposit by the Mshandukani Foundation, transferred R1-million to the Rolls Royce dealership.
- The third payment of R574 185.13, by Mashandukani Holdings — Mashudu Mshandukani’s company — on 1 September 2016, originated from an NLC grant payment of R25-million to Simba Community Development Foundation, to rebuild a Limpopo school torched during community protests. Money from the same grant was used to pay for a house on a golf estate for the former NLC Commissioner Thabang Mampane and her family.
- Mshandukani made another payment, on 18 April 2016, to the dealer. This came from an NLC grant of R80-million to hijacked non-profit company Lulamisa Community Development “to host the  Commonwealth Games for the benefit of South Africa and to boost the economy of Durban.” In the end, Durban was stripped of the right to stage the Games when the city was unable to raise the money needed to stage them and also missed key deadlines. Before the first tranche payment of R64-million, Lulamisa had only R20.90 in its account. After Lulamisa received a second tranche of R16-milion, it paid R1-million to Mshandukani Holdings, which in turn paid the dealer.
- Lulamisa also paid R2-million to Ironbridge, which then made a second payment of R1-million to the Rolls Royce dealer on 6 May 2016.
Nevhutanda’s 11-year-long scandal-ridden term as NLC board chair ended in December 2020.
The SIU is currently investigating over 700 dodgy lottery grants valued at over R2-billion made during Nevhutanda’s time in office. DM
First published by GroundUp.