Suspended National Lotteries Commission head working legit Phillemon Letwaba has been blamed for irreconcilable situations consisting of lottery subsidizing. At the focal point of this is an company referred to as Upbrand Properties, that is linked to Letwaba and his spouse and children. It's an irreconcilable situation that Letwaba and the NLC have greater than once denied.
However, the reputedly innocent acquisition of an extravagance domestic in an upmarket Johannesburg suburb reveals new perception into this and illustrates linked exchanges.
The tale starts in February 2016, when Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula and his better 1/2 have been house buying in Johannesburg. They tracked down a house as they would decide upon in Mandeville Road, Bryanston.
Exchanges caused a money offer with the aid of the Mbalulas on 24 February 2016 to shop for the assets for R5.6 million. The proposition is advocated through Nozuko Mbalula, the priest's significant other. The proposition became recounted by using the venders the following day and an authoritative agreement seemed.
In any case, after 9 days, the Mbalulas had been off the scene and Upbrand was the brand new client – making a suggestion to shop for the house at a similar value and primarily based on similar situations as the Mbalulas.
What passed off inside the interceding days is hazy and bizarre. First the mark of Fikile Mbalula's accomplice Solly Siweya confirmed up on the settlement.
Siweya organized an event for Mbalula, then, at that factor, Minister of Sport, and his circle of relatives in Dubai in December 2016, as indicated by means of a record via Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Mkhwebane determined that Mbalula had abused the Executive Ethics Code.
The house purchase provide appears to had been corrected with the Mbalulas' names fixed and the call of Siweya put in all matters being identical. Siweya additionally turns out to be a accomplice of Letwaba.
Then, at that factor, on 5 March every other proposal to shop for become made via Upbrand Properties. At that factor, Letwaba's sibling Johannes changed into the sole overseer of Upbrand. Upbrand is at the focus of a few GroundUp testimonies about wasted lottery awards. Inquisitively, regardless of the reality that he seemingly has no association with Upbrand, Siweya's mark likewise suggests up on Upbrand's proposal to buy.
The belongings was moved to Upbrand on 29 July 2016 and the employer remains the proprietor. Nonetheless, the assets has been lower back to be had for the extensive majority of this current 12 months.
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Mbalula separated himself from the acquisition of the residence, in a WhatsApp explanation to GroundUp via Department of Transport representative Esethu Hasane.
"The priest would not have anything to do with the referenced assets. Any aim to get it in the beyond failed to occur," Hasane stated. "Subsequently, the inquiries regarding this belongings are exceptional placed for replies by means of the owners of the assets and must be alluded to them. The priest can't represent a belongings that he does not own."
"The pastor cannot represent Upbrand houses," said Hasana.
We have seen no evidence of terrible behavior via the pastor. In any case, the situations of his inclusion and the direct of his companions do bring up scary issues.
The Upbrand association
GroundUp has visible Upbrand's yearly monetary reports for the year finished February 2020. They show Upbrand as having property, plant and hardware of truely over R3 million, including engine cars at the deteriorated worth of R1.Three million. Land and structures, which need to contain the Bryanston property, are recorded at R1.Sixty four million.
Either the property isn't always at the books of the organization, or the resource is miserably underestimated in the financial reviews. Upbrand paid R5.6 million for the property. It is unbonded and currently available for R5.Five million.
A greater noteworthy key's the region wherein the cash got here from for the purchase of the belongings. Upbrand became enlisted on 22 January 2016 but after forty two days, it sold an extravagance domestic. What the residence needed to do with a starting up improvement business enterprise isn't clean.
The primary tranche of R3 million of the charge tag got here from Ironbridge Traveling Agency and Events. At the time that corporation's sole leader changed into Karabo Sithole. Sithole is the Letwaba siblings' first cousin.
Somewhere in the range of 2016 and 2017 unique Letwaba family filled in as overseers of Ironbridge, with Phillemon Letwaba's better half, Rebothile Malomane (he is hitched to two girls) staying within the seat as sole chief when you consider that overdue 2017.
The tale doesn't quit there.
Two months after the deal, the venders took steps to drop the association. Siweya despatched the moving lawyer confirmation of adequate belongings inside the name document of a non-gain association called Lulamisa Community Development, which has gotten a large number of rands in lottery awards.
Why an inconsequential non-advantage affiliation's bank stability became pertinent to Upbrand's acquisition of a non-public belongings is a in addition secret. As could be visible later, Lulamisa has no apparent connection to Upbrand, and it's miles difficult to peer what importance its financial institution balance had to the Upbrand purchase.
Malwandla Solly Siweya, the apparent broker inside the house purchase, is a co-chief with Letwaba in no less than 10 companies enlisted with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC). All are recorded as being currently deregistration inside the wake of neglecting to publish yearly returns.
He is likewise connected to three non-gain companies that are becoming extra than R93 million in lottery awards. Lulamisa were given R80 million, and as we've visible, turned into connected to the Bryanston residence buy.
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He is also a preceding overseer of Lulamisa Enterprise wherein both Letwaba's next spouse, Rebotile Malomane – they have been not hitched at that factor – and Themba Mabundza, who has moreover been connected to 3 Letwaba linked businesses, are each preceding chiefs.
Siweya likewise marked the concept to buy the residence for the advantage of Upbrand, with no plain connection to the corporation. Siweya claims that he become now not representing the employer and had desired to purchase the residence himself.
"As to the acquisition of the house, I become now not addressing Mr. Mbalula in addition to Upbrand or going about as their center person," he stated in a messaged answer to definite inquiries. "I haven't any electricity to do as such; I changed into addressing my very own economic subjects meaning to shop for the belongings. Be that as it could, I wound up no longer shopping for it. I didn't pay any coins to them."
"Concerning your request on my contribution with Mr. Letwaba I want to position it underneath no commitment by using any method, but to make sure confirm that I shared directorships [with him] on torpid enlisted groups. It become undertakings [that] by no means removed the ground. These enlisted lethargic agencies live lethargic and moreover beneath deregistration in line with CIPC."
Course of events: Following the cash
On 24 February a money deal to buy the house for R5.6 million, with a 10% shop, was made, with the clients expressed as April Fikile Mbalula and Nozuko Mbalula "for and gain of an organization to be formed". Be that as it is able to, those subtleties have been crossed out without new consumers being recognized. The deal turned into encouraged by way of "N Mbalula" – which become moreover crossed out. Siweya's mark indicates up close to Nozuko's crossed out signature.
On five March some other concept to buy by means of Upbrand Properties was made.
On 5 May Siweya despatched confirmation to the transferring legal professional that Lulamisa had R5.Three million in a FNB "Cash available for any emergencies" account.
On 11 May 2016 Ironbridge Traveling and Events paid R3 million to the transferring lawyers.
Some vicinity in the center, one more R2 million changed into paid to the legal professionals, as indicated by means of a source with information at the trade. We could not convincingly verify the wellspring of this installment.
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Somewhere in the range of 26 and 28 July 2016, one extra R300,000 turned into paid to the shifting lawyers, as indicated by means of spilled Upbrand financial institution causes. It is conceivable that this was to make up a deficit at the trade or fees.
Part of this, R165,000, changed into paid on 28 July, around the equal time that an digital trade of R165,000 confirmed up in the Upbrand account from "Mshandukani".
Before the Mshandukani installment changed into gotten there has been a credit equilibrium of simply R3,289.85 within the Upbrand account.
The call "Mshandukani" highlights in diverse installments to Upbrand. Vincent Mashudu Shandukani is the only head of Mshandukani Holdings and he and Siweya are previous co-trustees with Themba Mabundza, in more than one commercial enterprise trusts. Mabundza is a sole or co-overseer of some agencies recognized with Phillemon Letwaba.
Shandukani's status quo, the Mshandukani Foundation, moreover got a R4 million lottery award in 2019/20, which he says became for "penetrating of boreholes inside the Eastern Cape".
He stated in a composed response to questions: "Mshandukani Foundation has given [a] several boreholes to networks. For this example greater subsidizing became implemented for via the nearby area at the side of Mshandukani Foundation."
Shandukani affirmed that he knew both Siweya and Mabundza and that they were co-trustees on the T&M Property Trust but stated they have been no greater "part of my businesses".
"They must be colleagues at the assets advancement entrust with me. The agree with changed into opened, [but] the connection did not paintings. I implemented for them to be eliminated inside the excessive courtroom, which turned into successfully conceded in 2018," he said.
On the installments by means of "Mshandukani" to Upbrand, Shandukani said: "They have filled in as a subcontractor on a shape task we had been [the] primary worker for hire on. Subsequently, there have been two or 3 installments completed to Upbrand for the paintings finished below us.
"We paid solicitations because of them. We do not have interaction by way of they way they undergo coins paid to them. Along those strains, we are now not mindful of the alternate they made."
Upbrand financial institution proclamations show that Mshandukani paid a sum of R4,686,eight
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