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How the former Lottery board chair paid R6.3-million for his Rolls Royce

How the former Lottery board chair paid R6.3-million for his Rolls Royce
This photo of Alfred and Tshilidzi Nevhutanda is from their church’s website. (Photo: Copied for fair use, supplied by GroundUp)

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

The alleged diversion of Lottery money to pay for Nevhutanda’s Rolls Royce Phantom followed a similar pattern to the way he funded his luxury mansion in suburban Pretoria.

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 [2022] 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.

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Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Johan Buys says:

    Mind, boggled

    Ignoring the despicable behavior of stealing charity money, HOW stupid must you be to buy a Rolls Royce? This is slapstick comedy territory.

    • Sydney Kaye says:

      Yes stupid indeed. But on the other hand he git away with for years before anybody did anything about it.

    • Brian Cotter says:

      The Rolls Royce puts Nomvula Mokonyane ‘gifted’ R3m Aston Martin on her 50th birthday to shame, as per the state capture inquiry. Don’t remember the taxman saying hello to her, but there again does a top 7 position give you immunity or not?

    • Fanie Rajesh Ngabiso says:

      Don the 🍊

    • Alan Jeffrey says:

      Puts me in mind of the Richard Pryor movie(Stir Crazy?) where he has been skimming from the system big time during his job as a hundred dollar a week Pay Clerk. from his Penthouse office the MD says to his VP-don’t worry, this guy will show his hand soon. Just as he reaches the window he looks down to the parking lot in time to see Pryor arrive in a Red Ferrari! :):):)

    • Alan Jeffrey says:

      I haven’t bought a Lottery ticket since “they” took over

      • Alison Immelman Immelman says:

        Do you remember when the lotto was a KZN initiative? They built countless classrooms and football fields. Then it went national and Oh Look!
        And while I’m at it, why do we need prizes if R60 mil? Just think of the charitable work that could be done if the prizes were around 5 or even 10 mil.

  • Marc Ve says:

    What upsets me the most is where is our hopeless SARS in catching these thieves. They spend way more than they theoretically earn. Easy prey for SARS, yet they rarely get hung out to dry- we would know because when SARS passes criminal charges it becomes public knowledge. I resent paying 40 plus percent to SARS knowing all these thieves pay zero.

    • William Kelly says:

      It is your moral obligation to reduce your tax bill as far as you legitimately can. Else you are feeding the problem. Get a decent tax consultant and restructure. It’s your money, not theirs and tax paying should be a voluntary mutually agreed negotiation that sees your money being used the way it should be, empowering you with the rights to object. He who pays the piper calls the tune.

    • William Kelly says:

      Oh, and it’s quite a lotmore than 40%. Do the math. By the time you die, about 94% of everything you have ever earned will have gone to the state, unless you have a yacht in Monaco. Remind you of anything? 🙂

  • Mark Gory Gory says:

    Lock. Him. Up.
    All. Of. Them.

    • paul Volker says:

      I agree Mark, but my understanding (and I may well be wrong) is that the SIU brings civil cases so they can confiscate assets but not get these guys locked up. They need the useless Hawks & NPA to do that.

  • joy.skene says:

    Go big or go home is obvythe motto here!

  • John B says:

    Why isn’t he in jail yet?

    • Louise Louise says:

      This is the problem, isn’t it? It seems that no government official ever goes to jail for their crimes. Except ex-President Zuma. Where is the list of jailed thieves? I wonder if DM could do an investigation in to this? The problem though is that these thieves get away with it and the people keep voting them in!!

      • ANC must GO says:

        Jacob Zumba wasn’t jailed for theft, Louise Louise – he was found guilty of contempt of court and it was for that that he was jailed

        • Jennifer D says:

          That is the incredible irony of this. He drove the country into the ground and initiated and condoned state capture and he was sent to jail (for a few days) for contempt of court and released due to his terrible health state (haha). Who cares that he continues to live a life of luxury. And his sidekicks, the Guptas, get to pay a little fine.

        • Louise Louise says:

          Yes, that’s true, I guess I was just trying to think of someone in government who had actually gone to jail for something!!

  • Malcolm Mitchell says:

    We should close the lottery – what real good does it do?

    • Alley Cat says:

      I disagree mally2. IF the money is used as intended, it will uplift many poor communities and NGOs who desperately need money. Closing it would be admitting defeat. It should be fixed rather than closed!

  • Alley Cat says:

    11 years at NLC and yet anyone who can read (OK I suppose that excludes most of the ANC) could see that the NLC was corrupt. Why did it take so long?
    And the picture of him and his wife at their church is really infuriating. Hypocrites like so many of these so-called Christians. If there really is a God, let’s hope he sends them to hell!!!

  • Ian Gwilt says:

    I look forward to see who at SASCOC was involved.
    The NPA needs the balls to prosecute.

  • James Webster says:

    Ho hum, another corrupt South Africa, another corrupt government official, another corrupt ANC cadre, another so-called “human being” embezzling from those who are starving and living in squalor. This sort of thing goes to show just how meaningless ubuntu is.

  • Wayne Holt says:

    Interestingly if this was in the ANC’s big buddy China this guy would be in front of a firing squad. This is how they deal with corruption even in a communist dictatorship..

  • William Kelly says:

    Gee whiz. Who could have seen this coming? Remember when the lottery was first launched? Exactly this was flagged as a concern. And so it has come to pass. Two things. 1. Did Rolls Royce seriously not ask WHO was buying their car, and how they were able to afford it? It’s time the brand protected itself. And 2. Playing the lottery supports this theft. Desperate poor people are plundered. They might as well have put their money into VHS.

  • Richard Baker says:

    Why isn’t the “Rolls-Royce dealer” named? What FICA due diligence did the dealer do or make a declaration to SARB? This was clearly a set of suspicious transactions. Failure to FICA is punishable by 10 years/R10m fine and SARB has pre-emptive right of seizure/prosecution. SARS/SARB and the Financial Intelligence Unit have abdicated all obligation to pursue hundreds of glaring cases like this-clearly turning blind eyes!

  • Gregory Scott says:

    Wow! 11 years at the feeding trough!
    Seems to me that many a state employee has been sleeping at the wheel. How is it possible that such a luxurious does not raise eyebrows, raise a red flag and is not reported by an accountable institution (read: motor dealer)to the Financial Intelligence Centre as a suspicious transaction?
    If reported, what is the point when it takes 10 years for action to be taken?
    Our banks are complicit in aiding the movement of these illicit funds. Let an ordinary tax-paying citizen, not employed by a state institution try and open a savings account with FIC requirements being thrown in your face………
    Why is this miscreant, Alfred Nevhutanda, and his co-conspirators not behind bars breaking rocks for such a morally reprehensible crime against the people?
    Perhaps a special vehicle that includes the investigation, arrest, prosecution and tailored orange uniform should be in place to give these matters the urgent attention needed.

  • Matthew Quinton says:

    He didn’t steal money!!

    Clearly you can see that he just sold his eyebrows!!

  • Y Cato says:

    Mr. Kieswetter, why don’t we see more of SARS in bringing these high-flying cadres to book? How difficult could it be (assuming SARS has the will to do so)? The first thing cadres do with their plundered loot is to buy and register ridiculously expensive cars. Surely that should be a red flag to trigger SARS audits?

  • Max Köhler says:

    One should perhaps promise a substantial reward if someone could identify a corruption free state linked entity. Your money would be safe..

  • Andrew Kilmartin says:

    I wonder what came of the Rolls Royce dealership ? These guys are as complicit as Bain & Co, McKinsey , KPMG, SAP, etc etc were in state capture ! And I am not sure why it is so hard to find those with ill gotten gains all you need to go do is stand outside the Louis Vuitton shop in Sandton City and take down a few names and send those to SARS !

  • Sam Bowker says:

    It’s always been about this. It was never about democracy way back in ’94, that was a smokescreen, a vehicle. The goal has always been keys to the vault, that is why it’s so endemic. Shock and surprise seems to surround every reveal, in truth it’s just standard procedure.

  • Michael Thomlinson says:

    Proably a stupid move to buy a Rolls Royce with stolen money but hey, what do these idiots worry about? Got to look good and be one up on the Jones and besides that it will take a while before someone in authority takes notice and you can probably get the government to pay your legal bills to keep you out of jail. Just dispicable!! Especially as the money was meant for good causes. He must go to jail.
    Don’t be too harsh on the car dealer. Probably a used car dealer just selling a used Roller (I don’t think he would have been able to buy from the RR dealer) and he would have had to report the to sale to SARS anyway. It is really SARS job to tag these suspicious sales and follow up along with SAPS.

  • Mike Batley Batley says:

    As the leader of an NGO that has received a number of grants over the past 20 years I think we shoudl be careful of throwing the baby out with the bathwater. the NLC has actually been our most consistent funder! But during the state capture years we received something like 13% of the budgets we applied for – now its clear why. But I think an analysis would show that the bulk of the funds have been allocated to good causes, although not always used well

  • Barrie King says:

    Where were/are the checks/balances over such Rolls Royce purchases. I have just successfully applied for a 10 yr visa to visit my family in the UK & had to answer innumerable questions about:
    Am I related to any minister in the Cabinet, including the President?
    Have I ever worked for the Gvmnt, regional or local authority?
    Have we had any family member working for the Gvmnt?
    Have I ever been involved with SA embassies abroad? etc, etc
    The only question not asked was “do I wear red underpants?” Of equal relevance maybe!
    The point is we get put thru irrelevant hoops for something relatively trivial so how do these thieves get away so easily with millions of State monies undetected for so long. Maybe their I’ll-gotten gains get channeled back to ANC coffers which gives them “immunity”! A shocking disgrace from Hawks, SARS, NPA, etc.

  • Penny Swift says:

    Great investigative reporting Ray.

  • Gareth Ochse says:

    As a director/shareholder/key individual in an FSP, it’s amazing to me how the luxury car dealers regularly turn a blind eye to the sources of funds of their clients, despite being bound by law to do so.

    The FSCA and SARS should start with the client list of anyone who bought a car/house for over R1M in the last 20 years, then go back to how each was funded. It would be a very interesting exercise and would net 80% of the bad guys.

    • Johan Buys says:

      Apparently the corrupt caught on to SARS keeping an eye on luxury cars, so the new trick is the car is never transferred from the dealership. So pay dealer R5m for that Ferrari, the car lives there, is insured by the dealer, is cleaned and when you want to go for a drive with your comrades and their Ferraris the dealer has arranged a fast Sunday breakfast run with the local traffic cops looking away. Spot half dozen sports cars without number plates – that’s the cadre fleet on a joy ride.

  • Dominic Rooney says:

    And the RR dealer thought nothing was odd about five payments spread across two months ? I suppose it’s naïve to imagine this doesn’t happen constantly at motor-dealerships where “aspirational” cars are sold. As with many property acquisitions the word “laundry” comes to mind.

  • Tim Price says:

    The ANC cadre comedy show gets more bizarre every day. Maybe he thought he wouldn’t be noticed among the other luxury vehicles in the Lottery Board Office parking lot. So corrupt, so stupid.

  • Joseph du Hecquet says:

    What’s different. Search every government entity in the country and you will find the same corruption . We are a mafia state run by gangsters. There is no other description.
    And nothing will change , the next lot that comes in will be just as corrupt.

  • Charl Adams says:

    Why is he not in jail?

  • sean john diddy says:

    damn!!

  • Dan Bowskill says:

    A disgrace to humanity, and just emphasizes the corrupt, non functioning criminal enterprise that this government is.

  • Dave Barnes says:

    How is it possible for a board member to divert funds to himself. Where are the controls, where are the auditors?

  • Tony Fletcher says:

    They temptation is way too big, and the obvious is that they don’t think that they will ever be caught, bribery has no limits. It has to stop. Is there a possibility or is he just stupid!!

  • Herbert van Rensburg says:

    I am sure many countries are rife with corruption in lotteries, however, it is only in South Africa that the perpetrator would be arrogant enough to think that he can steal from the poor without consequence!

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