SIU Freezes Pension Benefits Of Ex-Lotto COO Philemon Letwaba

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) on Wednesday said it has obtained a preservation order from the Special Tribunal to freeze the pension benefits of Philemon Letwaba, the former Chief Operating Officer of the National Lotteries Commission (NLC).

An investigation by the SIU into the affairs of NLC suggests that Letwaba benefited personally from monies received by NPOs from the NLC.

Allegations are that Letwaba allegedly used friends and family businesses, and Trusts to receive money from NPOs for his benefit and that of his family.

The names of the businesses and Trusts are:
•Unbrand Properties
•Mosokodi Water Solutions and Drilling
•Mosokodi Farming Project
•Kaone Wethu
•Redtag
•Mosokodi Trust
•Letwaba Family Trust

In one of several NLC-funded projects investigated by the SIU, it was revealed that a Limpopo province-based NPO received approximately R25 million for the refurbishment of a torched school in Vuwani.

Twelve days after the NPO received the money, it allegedly transferred approximately R4 million to Unbrand Properties without evidence of work being done and in violation of the funding agreement.

“The preservation order granted by the Special Tribunal is a continuation of the implementation of the SIU investigation outcomes and consequence management to recover assets and financial losses suffered by State institutions and/or to prevent further losses,” said the SIU.

Letwaba resigned from the NLC last month in the midst of a disciplinary hearing. His frozen pension benefits, which are with the Liberty group are estimated at over R2 million.

Before he resigned Letwaba, who was on paid suspension for 18 months, earned R265 000 a month.

His total cost-to-company of R3.3 million included a R393 000 contribution to his provident fund, a R120 000 travel allowance, a R48 000 cell phone allowance and a R447 000 performance bonus.