In a stunning hijacking right in front of the Democratic Alliance (DA) Federal Head Office in Cape Town, four gunmen made off with a USB drive of sensitive information relating to an ongoing corruption investigation with regards to the National Lotteries Commission, as it was being delivered.

This brazen criminal act highlights just how dangerous and precarious it is for those investigating the rampant corruption occurring throughout South Africa’s leadership.

The incident was caught on camera:

DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Mat Cuthbert MP, made the following statement:

Yesterday at 13:00, a courier service arrived at the DA Federal Head Office in Cape Town to deliver documents with sensitive information that we had requested from the National Lotteries Commission (NLC) relating to an ongoing corruption investigation that the DA has been pursuing.

At that very same time and similar to a James Bond movie scene, four gunmen intercepted the delivery and made off with the documents.

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, our 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.

The DA urges SAPS to ensure that all involved in this heist be arrested as a matter of urgency, and we urge the NLC to honour the PAIA application and send the information again.

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