National Lottery Commission chairman Alfred Nevhutanda. Picture: SOWETAN
National Lottery Commission chairman Alfred Nevhutanda. Picture: SOWETAN

Parliament’s trade and industry committee has recommended that the current chairperson of the board of the National Lotteries Commission, Prof Alfred Nevhutanda, be allowed to finish his current term of office. But DA MP Dean Macpherson strongly objects to the decision, which he says has been "bulldozed" by ANC members of the committee.

Nevhutanda has already served a term of five years and is two-and-a-half years into his second term as board chairman.

Committee chairwoman Joanmariae Fubbs explained that the committee will recommend to Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies that Nevhutanda serve the remainder of the legislative term and not a five-year term from the date of this latest appointment, and that the committee believes Nevhutanda is the strongest candidate.

"He comes across as confident and has a clear vision as to how the current challenges facing the commission should be addressed," she said. Under his watch, the commission managed to develop the necessary control mechanisms which led to a turnaround and an unqualified audit opinion.

The committee interviewed three short-listed candidates selected from the 111 applications received by the department.

Macpherson, however, claimed that Nevhutanda has a "chequered and controversial past" and a "well-documented, scandal-ridden history", including delivering a plagiarised speech to a transport conference in 2007. In addition, while chairman of the board, the commission awarded a R40m grant to the "kissing festival" held by the ANC-aligned National Youth Development Agency in 2010; awarded a R1m grant to union federation Cosatu for its birthday bash in 2011; and appeared as a guest speaker at an ANC rally in the Western Cape ahead of the 2014 elections.

"It is quite clear that Prof Nevuthanda is not a suitable candidate for this important position, conflicted [as he is] by political ideology," Macpherson said. "The actions of the ANC today, despite the DA’s objections, clearly proves that this matter was decided by Luthuli House, long before the interview process even began and was then rubber-stamped by the portfolio committee."

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