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JOBURG – The winds of change in lottery operation on 31 May, in which Gidani turned off its sales channels and cease vending and payment of national lottery prizes, including the 8000 retail outlets and with Ithuba holdings taking over has perplexed many customers.
A player who voiced his anger was Kevin Morris who said the national lottery last sold tickets on 30 May for their final draw that night, but they then closed down immediately. Morris said, “All the lottery branches that I have visited since then have staff, but [allegedly] no computer connection back to their parent company. Staff are therefore unable to check whether lottery tickets purchased by the public have any prize money to be paid out.
“[The staff is] as perplexed as I am as to how punters can check purchased tickets.”
Morris said when he phoned the help line, 0800 777 777, it gave a discontinued signal.
He said, “I know the company forerly running this lottery has been dispensed with and a new company has been awarded this lucrative franchise, but surely the old company should have remained in existence for at least a month after their shut-down. It is fraudulent to sell tickets on their last day of business, then terminate all lines of communication, disenabling all those who have purchased lottery tickets, hence pocketing public money.”
Meanwhile, chief executive of Gidani (Pty) Ltd Prof. Bongani Khumalo said their mandate to operate the lottery came to full execution. However, Khumalo said Gidani had taken the decision by the Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies, to award the third licence to operate the national lottery to Ithuba Holdings under review, and that a legal process has begun. He said it is envisaged that it will be finalised in the latter part of this month.
Khumalo said for the duration of the legal process, their equipment will remain in place in all retail outlets but will not be operational. Their offices and the 0800 777 777 and 0800 443 264 call centres will not be able to assist players and retailers until the legal challenge has been finalised.
Details: 0860 456 886 or 0800 484 822.
Sandton Police Station: 011-722-4200
Bramley Police Station: 011-445-4100
Fire and ambulance emergencies – 10177 (landline) or 112 (cellphone).