The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has welcomed the Pretoria High Court’s dismissal with costs of an application seeking to interdict the SIU from investigating or questioning a woman about R27 million her organisation received from the National Lotteries Commission (NLC).

In a statement, the SIU said Liesel Joy Moses, a beneficiary of NLC funding, applied for an urgent court interdict to prohibit the SIU from questioning her about the R27.2 million her organisation received in 2016.

The unit alleges that Moses, together with her lawyer Lesley Ramulifho, applied for NLC funding on behalf of Denzhe Primary Care to build a drug rehabilitation centre in Pretoria.

“It is alleged that the funds received from NLC were not used for the purpose it was requested for but instead benefited individuals,” reads the statement.

The SIU subpoenaed Moses on 31 May 2021 and informed her that the unit was investigating allegations of corruption, irregularities, maladministration and improper or unlawful conduct of the NLC employees, together with payments made by NLC.

“Moses appeared with her lawyer and requested a 14-day postponement, which the SIU granted but later requested yet another postponement, something the SIU refused to entertain.

“The SIU wishes to question Moses and obtain documents relating to Denzhe in order to enable the Unit to determine whether there was any impropriety or unlawfulness in the allocation of the funding.”

The NLC investigation follows the signing of proclamation R32 of 2020 by President Cyril Ramaphosa on 6 November authorising the SIU to investigate allegations of corruption and maladministration in the affairs of NLC, and to recover any financial losses suffered by the State or NLC.

The proclamation authorises the SIU to use all its legislative powers to subpoena bank statements and cellphone records, search and seize evidence, and interrogate witnesses under oath in an effort to hold those responsible for the State or NLC’s financial losses to account for their actions.

Where criminal conduct is uncovered during investigations, the SIU will refer the evidence to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), as well as the Hawks in the South African Police Service (SAPS) for further action.

Source: South African Government News Agency