|The UDM has noted the court decision which found
that the procedure for the allocation of the National Lottery has been flawed and must be
redone. Judging by the Minister and his spokesperson's public reaction it seems that this
matter will never be finalised in 21 days. It would be reckless of Government to allow
Uthingo's licence to expire without having appointed a National Lottery operator.
We suggest that Uthingo's contract must be extended by 3 to 6 months whilst the dispute is resolved.
The public must be assured that the worthy causes dependent upon the National Lottery, and the many poor and disadvantaged people that they support, will not be affected by the current bureaucratic wrangling.
The court ruling is questioning the judgement of the Ministry and Department in genera, and the Minister specifically, who in the final analysis signed off on the disputed decision. Thus the UDM believes that President Mbeki must instruct Cabinet's economic cluster to jointly review the process of selecting the Lottery operator.
Another option is to take the whole matter to arbitration. Of particular importance is the question of probity as it emerged in the media, and this must be investigated, on both sides of the dispute. At the same time Government must inform the public whether Uthingo has executed their mandate according the expectations of the Act; why the seeming haste to drop Uthingo? What comes across from the Government's actions in this matter is that it seems to want to reward certain "comrades" at the expense of other "comrades". If that is the case it would setting a very dangerous precedent.