Tuesday November 4,2014 : SOUTH AFRICAN GAMBLING SCANDAL DEEPENS
MPs find suspicious shredded documents at National Gambling Board.
Almost two months ago the South African Minister of Trade and Industry suspended the entire board of the National Gambling Board, replacing them with two temporary administrators in a non-transparent process that triggered extensive media speculation
Several weeks later the government revealed under some pressure that a forensic investigation into the affairs of the national regulator had been launched amid suspicions of high-value maladministration, intimidation and corruption at top management level.
Over the weekend the Sunday Times business pages added fuel to the fire by reporting that two members of parliament who had visited the over-priced offices of the Board found five boxes of suspiciously shredded documents.
MPs Dean McPherson and Giordin Hill-Lewis reported that the high-rent premises were far too large for the Board's needs and had been rented at a cost-per-metre more than double the standard for the betting industry.
They also found the boxes of shredded documents, and reported that it was clear that the remains were the minutes of 40 "special meetings" relating to parliamentary discussions and disclosures.
The government has not commented specifically on the shredded documents, but has confirmed that the forensic investigation in still ongoing.
The National Gambling Board has a budget of Rands 30-million, but reported a net loss of more than R4-million last year. Two-thirds of the budget is spent on a small staff complement. Liabilities exceeded assets by more than R8-million, and the auditor-general recently expressed reservations about its ability to continue as a going concern.