Appointment of Lottery chair back on track

Frank Chikane and Themba Dlamini join Barney Pityana and Terry Tselane on the shortlist

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Illustration of Lottery

A new list of candidates for chair of the National Lotteries Commission is to be submitted to Parliament. Graphic: Lisa Nelson

The stalled effort to appoint a new board chairperson for the corruption-riddled National Lotteries Commission (NLC) is finally back on track, almost 18 months after it first began.

Parliament’s Trade, Industry, and Competition Portfolio Committee voted to submit a new list of candidates to Parliament to debate. Once this is done the names will be sent to Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition Ebrahim Patel for him to select one of them as the new chair.

On the new shortlist are two people who were on the previous list, which expired: human rights lawyer Barney Pityana, and former deputy-chairperson of the Independent Electoral Commission Terry Tselane. Former NLC board member Muthuhadini Madzivhandila, who was previously shortlisted, has since died.

One of the new people on the list is Reverend Frank Chikane, who was one of ten short-listed people recently interviewed for the position of Inspector-General of Intelligence. Another addition is Themba Dlamini, a former CEO of the Public Protector, who scored second-highest when candidates were originally interviewed.

The NLC board has not had a chair since the departure of the long-time board chairperson Alfred Nehutanda, whose 11-year tenure was marked by scandals and corruption.

The process to replace him, which began late in 2020, has been marked by delays and a deterioration in the relationship between Minister Patel, who has oversight over the NLC, and the NLC and its board.

The relationship soured so badly that communication between the board and the minister was reduced to lawyers’ letters and official correspondence.

Earlier this year, Patel told Parliament that he had instructed lawyers to end the term of the last board, just weeks before their tenure ended. He said the reason was that its members had “failed to ensure proper administration and good governance”.

But ultimately he allowed the term of three remaining board members to end on 31 March this year. He also appointed four new board members on a one-year contract, with a brief to root out corruption at the NLC.

TOPICS:  National Lotteries Commission Parliament

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