Man gets 8 years for hijacking NPO and defrauding the NLC

The National Lotteries Commission (NLC) has welcomed the eight-year sentence of a man who defrauded them of R1.5 million.

Christopher Tshivule was sentenced by the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court on Thursday.

The court heard how Tshivule hijacked non-profit organisation The Message that operated in Bekkersdal. He did this by misrepresenting himself as the chairperson.

According to National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane, he used their documents to defraud the NLC.

Through the documents, he was able to apply for funding under the Arts, Culture and National Heritage sector.

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“Its main focus was youth development and empowerment. The chairperson of the NPO, Billy Itumeleng Semamane, convened a board meeting and discussed the proposal to approach the NLC for funding.

“The board agreed to the idea and gave the NPO’s documents, including their constitution and certificates, to Tshivule, who said he knew a manager at NLC who could assist them.

“As funding was not forthcoming, Semamane made enquiries with the NLC and discovered that their funding application was approved and dividends were paid to an account that Tshivule was the sole signatory of,” said Mjonondwane.

According to the grant application form, he had presented himself as the chairperson of the NPO and applied for funding of R3 million for the mobilisation of a traditional arts festival.

The prosecution said Tshivule was driven by greed when he defrauded the money aimed to uplift the community of Bekkersdal.

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