A scheduled presentation on the legal opinion on the National Lotteries Commission's refusal to disclose its grant beneficiaries was removed from the Trade and Industry Committee meeting on Thursday 9 July. Meanwhile, a newly-formed lobby group has taken news publication GroundUp to court for publishing details of the grant beneficiaries.
It's been almost a month since the Trade and Industry Committee requested a legal opinion on whether the National Lotteries Commission's (NLC) refusal to disclose its grant beneficiary list was lawful. At Wednesday's committee meeting, Duma Nkosi, chairperson of the committee, asked for a presentation on the legal opinion to be removed from the agenda because he hadn't received feedback from Parliament's legal adviser.
In 2019, the NLC, for the first time in 18 years, failed to disclose its grant beneficiaries in its annual report. At a committee meeting earlier this year, the NLC's chairperson, Alfred Nevhutanda, said it was in the best interest of the beneficiaries to not disclose them and that this was well within the law.
The NLC's revised position on listing beneficiaries came shortly after journalist Raymond Joseph and GroundUp exposed corruption and nepotism in lottery grants.