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NW Gambling Board paid over R1m to companies linked to its chair

Documents in EWN’s possession show that the companies were paid with funds meant to develop the community.

Lavelle Vere, the North West Gambling Board chairperson, has not denied that payments were made to companies linked to him. Picture: www.nwgb.co.za

JOHANNESBURG - Eyewitness News has learnt that the North West Gambling Board paid over R1 million to companies linked to its chairperson Lavelle Vere.

Documents in EWN's possession show that the companies were paid with funds meant to develop the community.

Two sources said the money was part of a R5 million donation by Sun City Resort as part of its cooperate social investment.

Vele did not deny the payments but insisted there was nothing untoward about them.

When the Gambling Board received the funds from Sun City Resort, the intention was to spend them on community development projects.

But EWN understands companies linked to the board chair walked away as beneficiaries.

In August last year, the gambling board paid R300,000 to an NGO Bokone Bophirima Craft Design Institute. Vere features as a director there.

He told EWN the funding was for a themed dance event.

Earlier this year, another payment of over R100,000 from the funds was paid to an organisation called TTT Foundation for the leasing of a truck to load confiscated illegal gambling equipment.

Vere is a former director of the organisation and admitted its mandate was to advance the arts.

And just a month ago, R600,000 was paid by the Gambling Board to the South African Dance Foundation whose chair, Frans Seema, serves together with Vere as directors of Bokone Bophirima Craft Designs.

Despite the evidence, Vere denied he personally benefitted from the funds or that he exerted influence on the gambling board to make the payments.