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NW Gambling Board faces dissolution over board mismanagement, fraud

This after a forensic probe found that board members submitted excessive and fraudulent claims and made irregular appointments.

Picture: www.nwgb.co.za

JOHANNESBURG - Eyewitness News can reveal that the North West Gambling Board faces dissolution and a criminal investigation after a forensic probe found that board members submitted excessive and fraudulent claims and made irregular appointments.

The findings are contained in a draft forensic report by audit firm SNG Grant Thornton, which Eyewitness News has seen.

The investigation was launched after allegations of financial mismanagement surfaced.

Two months ago, EWN revealed that the gambling board paid over R1 million to companies linked to its chairperson Lavelle Vere.

The Auditor-General also found the board suffered a net loss of over R4 million in the previous financial year.

Dishonest conduct, gross negligence, fraudulent misrepresentation. This draft forensic report paints a bleak picture of the day-to-day running of the North West Gambling Board.

It indicates that money was paid to board members without checks and balances in place.

It has found that board members have overcharged for their sitting fees and sent excessive travel claims.

It notes that in one instance, the board chair submitted a claim for three sitting fees on the same day - he also allegedly claimed for attending gala dinners.

He submitted claims of over R400,000 in sitting fees and kilometers of travel in the past financial year while his deputy Lerato Seepe was paid over R500,000.

The draft report also found Seepe didn’t even take the oath of office - or affirmation - when she became a board member as required by law.

The board is also being accused of irregularly appointing the now-suspended CEO Nathan Oliphant, even though he didn’t qualify for the job.

The draft report recommends the board be dissolved and for a criminal investigation to be conducted into possible fraud by board members.

The board and the North West government did not respond to questions sent to them at the time of publishing.

NW Gambling Board draft report by Primedia Broadcasting on Scribd