Gaming the Lottery

Journalist receives strange letter from supposed lottery beneficiary

Letter follows exposé of controversies over lottery funding

Managing Editor of Limpopo Mirror Anton van Zyl received an unsigned letter via email on Friday morning from a person or group purporting to be the National Lotteries Commission (NLC) Beneficiary Forum.

The letter claims the NLC Beneficiary Forum was formed at the beginning of this year.

The forum accused van Zyl of unethical, misleading, and biased reporting that should be “likened to high treason”.

Van Zyl has been co-publishing articles with GroundUp on misuse of lottery funding.

The letter was sent a few days after van Zyl published an editorial in the Limpopo Mirror. The editorial outlines and traces back the NLC’s involvement in the Waterval High toilet scandal, previous controversies, and interactions with the media.

The letter urges van Zyl to refrain from further publication against the NLC, threatening to “expose” him if he does not comply.

The email address it was sent from was, an account that has since been deleted. The letter was in the form of a scanned PDF printed on a Xerox D125.

GroundUp sent questions to the NLC asking if it had any knowledge of the NLC Beneficiary Forum. The NLC wrote back saying that it did not have any such knowledge. It also said that the NLC itself had received several complaints from beneficiaries regarding privacy concerns such as having their private details disclosed.