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By Editorial staff

Journalist


NLC’s scandal exposes disregard for the poor

Most shameful of all, though, some money came from a grant which should have been used to rebuild secondary school in Vuwani village in Limpopo.


One of the definitions of “contempt” is “the feeling that a person or a thing is worthless or beneath consideration”. That is why the word is so apt when describing the looting currently happening in our country.

Those stealing government money, or money intended to uplift people and offer them a “better life”, show they feel that South Africa’s poor and disadvantaged are worthless and beneath consideration.

ALSO READ: Preservation order obtained for properties and luxury vehicles linked to NLC fraud

And nowhere, we would argue, is that arrogant contempt more in evidence than in the theft of lottery money intended for projects to benefit those most in need.

The Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) of the National Prosecuting Authority and the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) obtained a preservation order to preserve properties and luxury vehicles linked to the siphoning off of millions of rands from the National Lotteries Commission (NLC).

Among the R14 million worth of vehicles seized was an ultra-luxury Rolls-Royce Phantom, that quintessential automobile of the superrich and which, more than anything, symbolises the gulf between the haves and the have-nots of this world.

ALSO READ: Key NLC legal files have gone missing, says Patel

The R6.3 million car was bought by former NLC chair Alfred Nevhutanda and, according to the SIU, paid for with NLC grant money intended for helping graduates, as well promoting and developing high-performance sport.

Most shameful of all, though, some money came from a grant which should have been used to rebuild secondary school in Vuwani village in Limpopo.

The fact that this malfeasance was exposed at all was because of the courageous journalism of the news organisation GroundUp, which has been threatened both legally and otherwise for its work. That the SIU is now taking action shows the reports were spot-on – but it also shows the importance of organisations such as GroundUp.

ALSO READ: NLC looks to reinstate its credibility

In the absence of effective policing and law enforcement, they are the new “thin blue line” between us and anarchy

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