Daily Dispatch

LOTTO’S R10m MYS­TERY TOI­LET PROJECT IN EC

Com­pany linked to Les­ley Ra­mulifho granted mil­lions to pro­vide san­i­ta­tion but busi­ness not found at ‘the ad­dress’

- RAY­MOND JOSEPH Business · Lottery · Gambling · European Commission · Pretoria · London · East London · Summit · Cape Town · LinkedIn · Dutch public broadcasting system · Glory

Lotto’s fund­ing arm gave R10m to em­ploy­ees of Pre­to­ria lawyer Les­ley Ra­mulifho for “san­i­ta­tion projects” at 15 schools, but the street ad­dress of his con­struc­tion of­fices is an up­mar­ket com­plex in East Lon­don where no­body has heard of their com­pany.

The sub­ur­ban block of flats was listed as the phys­i­cal ad­dress for the non-profit com­pany Di­nosys which was awarded the R10m con­tract by the Na­tional Lot­ter­ies Com­mis­sion.

The award was made de­spite an on­go­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion into another project in which the con­tro­ver­sial Ra­mulifho is in­volved.

It was one of two grants, to­talling R20m to build “san­i­ta­tion fa­cil­i­ties” at 25 schools awarded in Novem­ber to two NPOs that have em­ploy­ees of Ra­mulifho as di­rec­tors.

In its ap­pli­ca­tion for lot­tery fund­ing, Di­nosys signed the R10m con­tract with the Lot­tery for the “con­struc­tion of san­i­ta­tion fa­cil­i­ties” at 15 schools.

It pro­vided an East Lon­don ad­dress, 14 Sum­mit Road, Bea­con­hurst, sug­gest­ing that the re­cip­i­ent schools may be in the Eastern Cape.

But a flat com­plex is to be found at this ad­dress, and none of the ten­ants are aware of a busi­ness op­er­at­ing there.

Ra­mulifho was a di­rec­tor of both com­pa­nies but re­signed his di­rec­tor­ships a few months be­fore the grants were awarded, ac­cord­ing to Com­pa­nies and In­tel­lec­tual Prop­erty Com­mis­sion (CIPC) records.

The lat­est fund­ing brings to R60m the known to­tal in grants al­lo­cated since 2017 to four dif­fer­ent NPOs and non-profit com­pa­nies (NPCs) as­so­ci­ated with Ra­mulifho.

The fund­ing is for a va­ri­ety of projects: a drug re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion cen­tre, a sports de­vel­op­ment pro­gramme and the con­struc­tion of toi­lets at schools.

At least two of the four known projects funded by Lot­tery use Ra­mulifho’s law of­fices in Gars­fontein, Pre­to­ria as their reg­is­tered postal ad­dress.

A third NPO used the of­fice ad­dress as its of­fi­cial ad­dress in its suc­cess­ful ap­pli­ca­tion for Lot­tery fund­ing.

And three of Ra­mulifho em­ploy­ees – Liesl Moses, Tsi­etsi Joseph Tsha­bal­ala, and Louisa Mang­wa­gape – are listed di­rec­tors of both of the lat­est NPCs to be funded.

Tsha­bal­ala de­scribes him­self on LinkedIn as a “re­cep­tion­ist” em­ployed at Ra­mulifho’s law of­fices.

Projects

●In its ap­pli­ca­tion for Lot­tery fund­ing, Di­nosys said its phys­i­cal ad­dress was 14 Sum­mit Road, Bea­con­hurst, East Lon­don. But when jour­nal­ist Lisekho Madikane visited this ad­dress for GroundUp, she dis­cov­ered it was for a com­plex called Sum­mit Green.

She spoke to sev­eral res­i­dents and a helper work­ing there, but none of them knew of any busi­ness be­ing run out of any of the flats.

An elderly cou­ple who have lived at the neigh­bour­ing 16 Sum­mit Road for many years said they were not aware of a con­struc­tion com­pany op­er­at­ing from the flats next door.

And the owner of Loy­iso Civil Con­struc­tion, which op­er­ates from a nearby house, said he was not aware of Di­nosys or any other con­struc­tion com­pany op­er­at­ing in the area.

Ra­mulifho was ap­pointed a di­rec­tor of Di­nosys in Jan­uary 2018 but re­signed his di­rec­tor­ship in Septem­ber 2018, about two months be­fore the grant agree­ment was signed, ac­cord­ing to CIPC records.

Di­nosys signed a R10m con­tract with the Lot­tery in Novem­ber 2018 for the “con­struc­tion of san­i­ta­tion fa­cil­i­ties” at 15 schools. Both the Lot­ter­ies Com­mis­sion and Liesl Moses, the “chair­per­son” and a di­rec­tor of the com­pany and an em­ployee of Ra­mulifho, re­fused to say where the schools were, whether Di­nosys had any ex­pe­ri­ence in con­struc­tion projects, or who would build the fa­cil­i­ties.

●Another non-profit, Zib­si­fu­sion, signed a grant agree­ment in Novem­ber 2018, for the “im­ple­men­ta­tion of san­i­ta­tion in ten pub­lic schools”.

The “phys­i­cal ad­dress” for the com­pany is given as a post of­fice box in Mala­mulele in Lim­popo in the grant agree­ment signed with the Lot­ter­ies Com­mis­sion. The “reg­is­tered of­fice” of the com­pany is that of Ra­mulifho’s law of­fices.

The agree­ment was signed by “chair­per­son” Louisa Mang­wa­gape, an em­ployee of Ra­mulifho. She failed to re­spond to e-mailed ques­tions about the grant and Ra­mulifho’s re­la­tion­ship to the com­pany.

CIPC records re­veal that Mang­wa­gape, Moses and Tsha­bal­ala are all ac­tive di­rec­tors of the com­pany and list Ra­mulifho’s law of­fices as their postal ad­dress. Ra­mulifho be­came a di­rec­tor of the com­pany in May 2017 and re­signed in March 2018, a few months be­fore the Lot­tery fund­ing grant was signed.

●A third non-profit, Den­zhe Pri­mary Care was dor­mant when it was hi­jacked and used to re­ceive about R28.5m be­tween June 2017 and Jan­uary 2018 to build and run a drug re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion cen­tre near Pre­to­ria.

The project is the sub­ject of lit­i­ga­tion and is fac­ing al­le­ga­tions of shoddy, in­com­plete con­struc­tion, and claims that as much as R20m in Lot­tery fund­ing is un­ac­counted for. The brother of the Lot­ter­ies Com­mis­sion’s chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer Phile­mon Let­waba was sole di­rec­tor of a con­struc­tion com­pany at the time it signed a R15m Lot­tery-funded con­tract to build the re­hab. He sub­se­quently re­signed his di­rec­tor­ship.

●I AM MADE 4 GOD’S GLORY (IAM4GG), a Lim­popobased project “to pro­vide in­fra­struc­ture in or­der to ad­vance sport, re­cre­ation and phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity in com­mu­ni­ties across the coun­try”, signed a R11,37m grant agree­ment with the Lot­ter­ies Com­mis­sion in April 2018.

In its ap­pli­ca­tion, IAM4GG said the project was aimed at sports “trans­for­ma­tion” and ath­letes from “dis­ad­van­taged . . es­pe­cially ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties”. In its fund­ing ap­pli­ca­tion, IAM4GG lists Ra­mulifho as chair­per­son and Moses as “Trea­sury”, and gives the lawyer’s of­fices as the com­pany’s ad­dress. Ac­cord­ing to the fund­ing ap­pli­ca­tion, the project would cre­ate 60 full-time and 40 part-time jobs and ben­e­fit over 16,000 peo­ple.

Ra­mulifho has also con­firmed that he used more than R535,000 of Den­zhe’s Lot­tery fund­ing for two Ocean Bas­ket fran­chises he pur­chased in Gaut­eng. He made this ad­mis­sion in a sworn af­fi­davit con­firm­ing a con­fused and con­tra­dic­tory af­fi­davit by Den­zhe’s founder, Take­lane Tshikalang­e, who had ear­lier laid a com­plaint with po­lice that her or­gan­i­sa­tion had been “stolen” and used to ap­ply for Lot­tery fund­ing.

The af­fi­davit con­tra­dicts the sworn af­fi­davit she had ear­lier made to po­lice. It came af­ter a GroundUp in­ves­ti­ga­tion re­vealed the Ocean Bas­ket pay­ments.

In her state­ment, Tshikalang­e con­firmed that Ra­mulifho had used the com­pany’s money to pay for the Ocean Bas­ket fran­chises, but claimed he had “re­paid it”. The Lot­ter­ies Com­mis­sion ig­nored a re­quest from GroundUp for com­ment on whether this was an ac­cept­able use of grant fund­ing.

R20m fund­ing un­ac­counted for

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