A preservation order on former National Lotteries Commission (NLC) board chair Alfred Nevhutanda’s R6.3m Rolls Royce Phantom has been lifted because the vehicle has fallen ‘into the hands of an innocent third party’, reports GroundUp.

In September, after the Asset Forfeiture Unit revealed how almost R4.6m of the car’s purchase price was siphoned from dodgy Lottery grants, the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) froze the vehicle.

'Even though it is irrefutable that the vehicle was bought with the proceeds of unlawful activities, it fell into the hands of an innocent owner,’ said Gauteng NPA spokesperson Lumka Mahanjana.

Despite this, the NPA did not believe it would be successful if it pursued the forfeiture of the vehicle, Mahanjana said.

‘We only realised on 17 October 2023 that it was sold … when the curator bonis sent us a communication from the attorney representing the innocent owner,’ Mahanjana said.

The new owner, Rirhandzu Siweya, is the CEO of a mining company ‘who used his dividends to pay for the vehicle … and is not involved in the fraud and corruption perpetrated against the NLC,' she said. 

The NPA’s decision to withdraw the preservation order was based on the fact that Siweya paid ‘a price not significantly less than the market value of the property’ and was unaware that it had originally been bought with ‘the proceeds of unlawful activity’.

Nevhutanda sold the Rolls Royce less than three months after he paid R6.3m for it to Daytona Motors, a Sandton dealership, on 31 August 2016. He sold it to Pcubed Exotica, an ‘exotic car rental, branding and chauffeur services company’ on 17 November 2016, reports GroundUp.

Vivien Natasen, a director of Pcubed, appeared before the Zondo Commission in connection with allegedly corrupt transactions involving SA Express.

Natasen told the commission that he did not benefit from these transactions.

Natasen is also a director of Neo Solutions, renamed Neo Africa Advisory last year, which had paid R2m towards Nevhutanda’s mansion.

The company also scored over R26m in NLC contracts while Nevhutanda was the commission’s board chair.

Just over a year later, on 10 October 2017, Pcubed sold the Rolls Royce to Siweya, for R5.5m, according to the NPA. 

Full GroundUp report