The National Lotteries Commission (NLC) in South Africa has announced its decision to initiate criminal complaints against former board members implicated in widespread corruption. This move, supported by Minister Ebrahim Patel, marks a significant step in the NLC's efforts to address past malpractices. The board's decision was disclosed during a presentation of the NLC's annual and quarterly reports to the Parliamentary Committee on Trade, Industry, and Competition.
NLC chairperson Barney Pityana, addressing Members of Parliament, expressed deep concern over the Auditor-General's role in providing clean audits to the NLC amidst rampant corruption. Pityana highlighted the need for holding accountable not only those directly involved in corruption but also those who, through negligence or collusion, enabled it. The plan includes laying charges against former board members, seeking declarations of delinquency, and recovering misappropriated funds through civil litigation.
Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Ebrahim Patel, expressed full support for the NLC's multifaceted approach to tackle the issue. He emphasised that these measures are supplemental to, not replacements for, criminal prosecution. The Minister also noted the upcoming amendments to the Companies Act, aimed at addressing the issue of delinquent directors more effectively.
Pityana, in a post-presentation interview, stressed the urgency and necessity of the NLC's actions, citing frustrations with the slow pace of investigations by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU), the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), and the Hawks. The NLC's approach reflects a broader commitment to uphold integrity and moral responsibility within the organisation, holding past and present members to account for their actions and inactions.
In conclusion, the NLC's bold steps signal a strong commitment to combatting corruption within its ranks and restoring public trust in its operations. The organisation's proactive approach, backed by government support, sets a precedent for accountability and transparency in South African public institutions.