Chief Operating Officer of South Africa’s National Lotteries Commission (NLC); Phillemon Letwaba has been served with intention to suspend for the third time by the Commissionand is set to face another disciplinary inquiry.
Letwaba was accused of money laundering and using his position as COO to enrich himself and his family. He proceeded for a 17-month “leave of absence to allow for the investigations on lottery corruption, by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU).
He was suspended in October 2021, on the recommendation of the Special Investigating Unit (SIU), just three months after he returned to work from his “leave of absence. However, a disciplinary committee controversially cleared him of the charges and he resumed office 4 months ago.
Letwaba is now facing the same charges, which now include; contraventions of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act, as well as sections of the Lotteries Act and the Public Finance Management Act, plus other new charges. The hearing is expected to proceed shortly, but under a different chairperson as Letwaba’s lawyers objected to the current one.
The NLC has appointed its senior manager of financial accounting; Nkhenso Njoni, as its acting chief operations officer, from 28 July to 31 August 2022. Letwaba’s five-year contract with the NLC is however, set to expire at the end of November, 2022.
Nearly a third of the price of a Lottery ticket in SA, is billed to go to charity via the National Lotteries Commission (NLC), which is why the lottery corruption scandal was a big deal in SA.