Businessman at centre of Lottery fund probe arrested for fraud

Petrus Sedibe charged with defrauding a trust fund

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A multi-million rand sports complex in Soweto funded by the National Lotteries Commission has never been built and the site is being used to dump rubbish. Petrus Sedibe, who is being investigated by the NLC in connection with the grants, has now been charged with defrauding a relative’s trust fund. Archive photo: Masego Mafata

  • Petrus Sedibe, the Johannesburg businessman linked to several Lottery grants being investigated by the Special Investigating Unit, has been arrested for fraud.
  • He is charged with defrauding a relative’s trust fund to the tune of about R900,000.
  • A source close to the investigation says more charges could be added.
  • The National Lotteries Commission is already probing grants totalling more than R12.6-million linked to Sedibe.

The businessman at the centre of a probe into a multi-million rand Lottery grant for a Soweto sports complex which has never been built has been arrested for fraud. Petrus Sedibe was arrested during an early morning raid at his Protea Glen home by Johannesburg’s Commercial Crime Unit.

He is accused of defrauding the trust fund of a relative to the tune of about R900,000. His relative had received a payout from the Road Accident Fund after being severely injured in a motor vehicle accident.

Sedibe was released on R3,000 bail after he appeared at the Johannesburg Specialised Commercial Crime Court on Friday, 14 July 2023, a few hours after his arrest. The matter was remanded to 23 August.

More charges could be added following further investigations, according to a source close to the investigation.

A warrant for Sedibe’s arrest was issued about nine months ago following an investigation that began in late 2019 by Alchemy Consolidated Business Holdings, a forensic auditing and investigation firm.

The investigation was prompted by a relative of the beneficiary of the trust, who enquired about money paid out. It was then discovered that the banking details on the invoices and quotes submitted to the trust, had been changed to one of five bank accounts, which allegedly belong to Sedibe and his companies.

GroundUp has previously reported that the National Lotteries Commission paid R6-million of a R9-million grant in 2021 to Motheo Sports and Entertainment Foundation, linked to Sedibe, for a sports facility in Soweto. Two tranches of R3-million were paid to Motheo and the NLC only stopped payment of the final R3-million tranche after requests for progress reports from Motheo were ignored. The complex has never been built.

Sedibe identified himself as Motheo’s “chairperson” or as its “deputy secretary” in correspondence relating to the lottery grant. He transferred R750,000 of the grant to a private company, of which he is the sole director. Several purchases of goods and cash withdrawals, which appear to have nothing to do with the funded project, were made within days of the R3-million payment, using a Motheo FNB bank card.

Sedibe is also linked to at least eight NLC grants under investigation by the Special Investigating Unit. The NLC, which has initiated steps to recover the R6-million paid to Motheo, has also launched an internal investigation into the grants involving Sedibe, which total over R12.6-million.

Sedibe failed to properly answer our request for comment.

TOPICS:  Crime National Lotteries Commission

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