SIU granted order to freeze KZN NLC official’s bank accounts

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has been granted a preservation order by the Special Tribunal to freeze approximately R2.4 million held in four bank accounts linked to a KwaZulu-Natal National Lotteries Commission’s (NLC) official and his wife.

According to the SIU statement, the money was paid into the accounts by non-profit organisations that received funding from the NLC to improve the conditions of ordinary South Africans, but made its way into the bank accounts for self-enrichment.

“An investigation by the SIU into the affairs of the NLC revealed that [Sibonelo] Vilakazi approached daycare centres and football clubs in KZN to apply for grant funding. Immediately after receiving funding, football clubs and care centres would transfer large sums of money into 05 ZZET ENTERPRISES (PTY) LTD’s bank account and those linked to Zuma and Vilakazi.

“A report by the Financial Intelligence Centre states that 05 ZZET Enterprises received multiple electronic fund transfer payments from several care centres and football clubs of approximately R 32 259 707. SIU investigations show that more than 400 care centres and football clubs made payments to accounts linked to Vilakazi and Zuma from money received from the NLC between 2019 and 2023,” SIU spokesperson, Kaizer Kganyago said.

In terms of the order dated 13 September 2023, the suspended NLC official Sibonelo Vilakazi, his wife Nosipho Zanele Zuma and 05 ZZET ENTERPRISES (PTY) LTD, solely owned by Zuma, are prohibited from dealing in any manner with funds held in the frozen bank accounts.

“In August 2023, the Tribunal granted a similar order pending the intervention application by the SIU in a matter brought by Zuma against First National Bank (FNB) before the High Court of South Africa: Kwa-Zulu Natal Local Division, Durban, and the subsequent conclusion of the main application to be brought by the SIU in the Special Tribunal.

“The bank had frozen Zuma’s bank accounts through its own processes. The High Court granted the order in favour of Zuma [and] as a result, the SIU approached the Special Tribunal to vary the order so that it was not dependent on any other court process,” Kganyago said.

The SIU was, in terms of Proclamation R32 of 2020, authorised by President Cyril Ramaphosa to investigate allegations of corruption and maladministration in the affairs of NLC and the conduct of NLC officials and to recover any financial losses suffered by the State.

The SIU has been granted a preservation order to freeze approximately R2.4 million, pending the final determination of a civil action to be brought by the Unit within 60 days.

Source: South African Government News Agency