Sun, 11 Apr 2021

  • R5 million was paid towards a house for William Huma, a National Lotteries Commission (NLC) board member, by an organisation that received an NLC grant.
  • The organisation had been dormant for 15 years, but nevertheless was awarded R27 million by the NLC.
  • Payments totalling R2 million were made to Huma in late 2016 by Upbrand Properties, a company associated with the suspended NLC COO Phillemon Letwaba, just months before Huma was appointed to the NLC board.
  • Huma recently applied for the vacant position of board chairperson of the NLC, but was not shortlisted.

Millions of rands from a Lottery grant to build an old age home in Mpumalanga were used to pay for a luxury home on a sprawling estate in North West province, which was purchased by a company belonging to a board member of the NLC, according to a report by GroundUp.

The payment to the lawyers by Matieni was made for the sale of the Rustenburg property to BDH Group (Pty) Limited, of which NLC board member William Huma is the sole director.

READ | SIU raids offices of National Lotteries Commission

Huma says that both payments were instalments on the purchase of Just Cuban, an upmarket restaurant and music venue in Pretoria, by Daisy Letwaba, one of suspended NLC Chief Operating Officer Phillemon Letwaba's two wives.

The mystery of the R2 million payments

In a written response via his lawyer to questions about the payment for the Rustenburg property, Huma said: "I entered into a transaction with Mr Lufuno Moses Maise, who purchased my professional service/business and management consulting companies for R10 000 000."

"At the time of purchase, Mr Maise was buying the companies through his own name and did not alert me to his association with the Matieni Community Centre NPO. I understood that Mr Maise was purchasing the companies for himself."

Tracking down the mysterious Mr Maise

"We wish to place on record that we are not acting on behalf of Mr Lufuno Maise as we were not given instructions to act on behalf of the aforesaid person," the attorney said in an email.

Matieni has received funding grants of nearly R27 million from the NLC, with the first R20 million allocated in October 2017. The most recent grant of R3.97 million was paid in May 2019.

The R5 million paid to the Rustenburg attorneys came from an FNB account, but Singo said Matieni had not banked with FNB when it was still operational.

The NLC has proactively funded six old age homes in rural areas in six provinces. But though grants totalling tens of millions of rands were paid for the old age homes, none are yet completed or operational.

Living in Lottery-funded lap of luxury

A source informed us that the Rustenburg property is used as a weekend and holiday getaway by Huma. His permanent private residence is a luxury home abutting a golf course in the upmarket suburb of Waterkloof in Pretoria.

Besides serving on the NLC's board, Huma also holds several key board committee posts, including chairperson of the NLC's Human Capital, Social and Ethics Committee. He also serves on boards of several state-owned entities, according to his CV in the 2018-2019 annual report of state-owned Universal Service and Access Agency of South Africa (USAASA), where he is chairman of the interim board. Another top position he still held late last year was as chairperson of the Audit and Risks Committee in the Office of the Chief Justice of South Africa.

William Huma. PHOTO: NLC website.William Huma.NLC website

He is a director of 16 companies, according to CIPC records. These include companies involved in finance, investment, technology, energy and mining.

"I have checked with all my family members and none of them is a director of Upbrand Properties and this information you can check it with CIPC directly," Letwaba said via email.

ALSO READ | Lotteries Commission threatens GroundUp with charges after reports questioning project funding

These payments towards the house include a R100 000 roof slab for the house, R90 493 for decor, R126 560 for trees and R33 200 to a company called Mystique Mirrors.

Early in 2018, Upbrand started making payments related to the old age home. These included the hire of a TLB (tractor loader backhoe) in all likelihood to clear for the old age home building site. On 30 January 2018, Upbrand made a payment of R50 000 for "Marapyane construction", as well as two subsequent payments of R12 360 on 29 May and R30 000 on 8 June 2018, both marked "Marapyane old age".

Right of reply

"I will exercise my rights in court. I don't have time for an angry beneficiary of the NLC."

Timeline

22 November 2016: NLC pays Denzhe Primary Care R7.5 million

23 November 2016: Denzhe pays Upbrand Properties R3.35 million

23 November 2016: Upbrand Properties pays Huma R1 million

1 December 2016: SA Youth Movement Mpumalanga pays Upbrand R3.5 million

2 December 2016: Upbrand Properties pays Huma R1 million

1 April 2017: Phillemon Letwaba's wife Daisy becomes the sole member of Just Cuban Restaurant CC

1 April 2017: Huma appointed to the Board of the NLC

15 September 2017: Just Cuban Restaurant CC is converted to a Company

16 October 2017: Matieni Community Centre NPO is awarded grant of R20 million by the NLC

20 October 2017: Deed of sale for Portion 3 of Farm Montengoelu 398 is finalised from the Rossouw Family trust to BDH Group

23 October 2017: Matieni Community Centre NPO pays attorneys Grobler, Levin, Soonius Inc. in Rustenburg R5 million for the transfer of Portion 3 of Farm Montengoelu 398

April 2018: Daisy Letwaba signs an offer on behalf of Just Cuban Restaurant Proprietary Limited to purchase Erf 16 Portion 8 Pretoria for R3.5m. This is the property on which Just Cuban restaurant is situated

18 April 2018: Huma accepts the offer to purchase on behalf of BDH Trust

13 November 2018: Transfer of Erf 16 Portion 8 Pretoria takes place

Source: News24

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