NLC sets the record straight on Denzhe Project

Johannesburg – The National Lotteries Commission (NLC) and law firm Ndobela Lamola Incorporated said it has noted media reports linking the organisation with the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services.

Ndobela Lamola Incorporated is one of the firms that serve on the NLC’s appointed panel for legal services.

The NLC said in a statement, “As a service provider of the NLC, the firm was indeed tasked with certain investigations including the one referred to relating to “Denzhe”.”

The NLC said that the following must be made clear:

• It must be stated for the record that the Minister did not interact with the assignments of the NLC, even during his tenure as director of the said law firm.

• The investigation in question undertaken by Ndobela Lamola Incorporated was not a forensic investigation. It was a normal investigation aimed at fact-finding on issues raised and alleged around the Denzhe project, and this was done accordingly. This insinuation that it was a forensic investigation is therefore incorrect and misleading to the public.

• The firm was provided with the terms of reference, documents and statements to work on in assessing the issue and making recommendations to the NLC. The law firm was never appointed for forensic work, nor was it expected to verify the authenticity of documents provided to it in the ordinary course of their investigation. The allegations around the authenticity of the document remains, in our understanding, sub judice and will be determined at some point. Mr Raymond Joseph is aware of this.

• In doing its work, the law firm relied on preliminary work done by other companies around the same issue, including around the ‘Tshikalange Matter’. Ms Tshikalange is on record as having attended a meeting at the NLC, being interviewed by other attorneys, while including further questions were sent to her via her email address.

• The services provided to the NLC by Ndobela Lamola Incorporated are varied and extend beyond investigations. The manner in which figures are expressed in media reports may create a wrong impression that lacks context. There is nothing untoward by the services provided.

• The current investigation around the NLC is not in any way linked to its service providers, including the law firm Ndobela Lamola Incorporated. Insinuations that have been created by the media to that effect are factually incorrect and misleading.

• Furthermore, the amount of money that is alleged to have been paid to the law firm for the reported investigation is incorrect. Such a figure could only ever be a cumulative amount that includes other work that the law firm has undertaken as a panelist for the NLC. The NLC and Ndobela Lamola Incorporated reiterate their stance on the attorney and client privilege and no further comments will be made on the allegations by Mr Joseph. All rights remain reserved.

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