The South African National Lottery Commission’s COO Phillemon Letwaba has been suspended following allegations of corruption and a probe into illegal activities.
As reported by Ground Up, Letwaba’s suspension on full pay comes after he took a 17-month leave of absence and is subject to a disciplinary inquiry.
An SIU investigation was launched in November 2020 after President Cyril Ramaphosa commissioned the unit following widespread allegations of malpractice.
Meanwhile, Letwaba was on leave of absence which stemmed when the NLC announced in February 2020 that it had appointed audit firm Sekela Xabiso (SkX) “to institute an independent investigation into allegations of improper use of funds intended for good causes.”
It was revealed that Letwaba was paid in full for his leave of absence and earned over R3m for his time off. He returned to his role this July despite the SkX audit being incomplete and under pressure from his critics.
Ground Up spoke to Letwaba and asked why he was being investigated, to which he responded, referring to himself in the third person: “The NLC is not investigating the COO. The NLC is investigating the granting of funds to NGOs and other organisations. Look, the SkX investigation has been going for 17 months now. We are still awaiting that process.”
“I was not suspended. I was on leave to allow the processes of the NLC to take its course. I have since come back to the office.”