Lottery allegedly paid R5.5m to NPO with no bank account

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Johannesburg – The Uprising Youth Development – a Limpopo based non-profit organisation (NPO) – has vowed to challenge any party or individuals who claim they are recipients of a R5.5 million donation from the National Lottery Commission (NLC) despite not having a bank account.

Uprising Youth Development spokesperson Bilaal Gunguwo made the threat after the Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu – in her reply to parliamentary questions by the DA – said the NPO has failed to provide her department with financially audited statements for 2018 and 2020.

Zulu made the reply after the DA’s deputy spokesperson on trade and industry Mat Cuthbert asked the minister to furnish him with the constitution and founding statements of the NPO, including names and other details of office bearers.

Cuthbert also asked for the registered address of the NPO, financial statements for the past two financial years, and the accounting officer’s report and any available reports for its activities.

Zulu provided Cuthbert with all the necessary documents but said the NPO failed to provide financial statements for 2018 and 2020 saying the department was taking steps to ensure compliance. The department was encouraging non-compliant organisations like the Uprising Youth Development to submit annual reports through a campaign known as “know your NPO status”.

“The department recognises that some of the organisations that are due for reporting are not able to do so due to the impact of Covid-19. However, the department has a deregistration programme which will be implemented effective April 1, 2021. Therefore, should Uprising Youth Development fail to submit outstanding reports, it will be deregistered,” –  Zulu said.

But the defiant Gunguwo said his organisation had submitted all financial statements to the Department of Social Development (DSD).

“We never received a single complaint from our local Department of Social Development,” Gunguwo said.

He also dismissed claims they were the recipients of the R5.5m, saying they opened a criminal case with the Hawks after it was brought to their attention.

“We were visited by the Hawks investigators from Pretoria last week. We never got the R5.5m. It was received by people in the North West who claimed to be our sister organisation. We know their identities. They came to us and offered R1m in order for us to tell the DA that we have indeed received the money. We refused the offer,” – Gunguwo said.

He also confirmed they did not have a bank account, but said it was due to the fact someone else was fraudulently using their account.

“We have also opened a criminal case about it. The Makhado police are dealing with the case,” – he said.

But the DA would have none of it. Cuthbert said what was particularly strange was the fact that the NLC disbursed funds to an organisation that did not comply with DSD regulations and possessed no bank account.

“So, the question then remains, to whom did the NLC disburse these funds and how have these funds been spent? In lieu of these revelations, the DA will be submitting parliamentary questions to Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel in this regard, in order to clarify how he allowed this to happen under his watch,” – Cuthbert said.

Source: iol.co.za

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