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Johannburg Bhekilanga Khaula, who has accused his relatives of stealing his R79 million Lotto tickets.

JOHANBESBURG, South Africa– After realising he had won, the unemployed 55-year-old Joburg resident claimed that his two relatives, who lived in his Yeoville home with him, stole the tickets and cashed them in without informing him.

Khaula said in October 2010 he won R478 489 in a Sportstake draw. He also played the Lotto and won R75m and R4m on Lotto Plus, as well as a R409 452 Sportstake draw.

“I never touched all that money. It fell into the wrong hands,” he said.

Khaula has accused former lottery operator Gidani of having a hand in cashing out his millions unlawfully.

“How do you cash out money to someone whose identity number does not correspond with the one on the ticket that won?” he asked.

According to Khaula, when a person plays on a Lotto draw, at the back of the ticket they fill in their name and ID number. He said a person must produce proof of their ID and the Lotto ticket that they played to claim the winnings.

“I played on September 30 and October 4 (2010). I went to check the results and found that I had won. I rushed home to fetch my ticket but it was not there.

“However, there was one relative who saw me put the ticket in my bedroom. I had suspicions that she could have taken it,’’ added Khaula.

On October 30, he said he went to play multiple tickets of Lotto and Sportstake with an amount of R2600.

“I won but all the tickets were stolen by my other relative,” he said.

Khaula said days after his tickets had disappeared, his two relatives went on an “extravagant spending spree”.

“That is when I realised that the other relative was involved with the disappearance of my first ticket,” he said.

He said he approached the lottery operator and lodged a complaint and the money was frozen pending investigations.

Andre du Plessis, Gidani’s former security and facilities corporate executive, dismissed the claims that money was frozen and that Khaula approached his office.

“I did receive requests from police regarding the alleged missing jackpot claims.

“However, particulars of Mr Khaula where he bought his apparent winning ticket did not correspond with that of the winning tickets.

“The winning tickets were bought in another province and paid out to the lawful owners of the tickets. There was never money frozen,” said Du Plessis.

Khaula said he opened a case at the Yeoville police station but had been sent from pillar to post in his bid to establish what happened to his millions.

Yeoville police station spokesperson Captain Sifiso Mabizela said the case was closed because of insufficient evidence.

“An expert from the national lottery indicated that the tickets that won were never bought in Joburg as indicated but in Durban and Limpopo.” said Mabizela.

Khaula escalated the matter to the Office of the Public Protector in 2013. Spokesperson Oupa Segalwe said: “The complaint was received on April 23, 2019. The matter was referred to the police. Therefore, no investigation was conducted by the public protector. The complaint was advised on the referral in a letter dated June 11, 2013.”

New lottery operator Ithuba said it was unable to assist as the incident happened before it took over in 2015.

Source IOL

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