Armed robbers held up a courier driver and fled with a USB drive containing sensitive information regarding an investigation into alleged corruption at the National Lotteries Commission (NLC) on Monday 13 September.
In a statement DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Mat Cuthbert said that a courier service had arrived at the DA Federal Head Office in Cape Town to deliver a USB drive with sensitive information that the party had requested from the National Lotteries Commission (NLC).
He said the information relates to an ongoing corruption investigation that the DA has been pursing.
“At that very same time and similar to a James Bond movie scene, four gunmen intercepted the delivery and made off with the documents,” Cuthbert said.
The DA had previously submitted a Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) application regarding a service provider that was contracted by the NLC to in essence advise the NLC on how to distribute Covid-19 relief worth R150 million. The NLC paid the service provider R460 287.50.
Despite efforts by the NLC to block previous attempts by the DA to gain access to this information, the party’s PAIA application was granted and the NLC promised that all requested information would be delivered to the DA Federal Head Office in Cape Town.
“The DA finds it extremely suspicious that gunmen would intercept the information that the NLC was so loath to hand over. It certainly appears to be an orchestrated attempt, by who we can only speculate at this point, to circumvent the due process of the PAIA application and keep the information contained regarding the beneficiaries of this NLC tender from public view.”
“It also raises serious security concerns regarding the safety of whistleblowers, including that of the DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Mat Cuthbert MP,” he said.
The DA has called on the SAPS to ensure that all involved in this heist be arrested as a matter of urgency.
Watch the video of incident below: