- Terry Pheto’s house in Bryanston, seized by the Asset Forfeiture Unit, went on auction on Thursday morning.
- But the property worth more than R4-million failed to sell. No bid over the starting bid of R3-million was received.
- The Lottery money used to buy the house was meant to go to an initiation programme.
- The auctioneer will market the property to prospective buyers in the coming weeks.
A luxury home paid for with ill-gotten Lottery money by Tsotsi and The Bold and the Beautiful actress Terry Pheto went unsold when it went under the hammer on Thursday 2 March, despite 28 bidders signing up for the auction.
Auctioneer, Graham Renfrew of Asset Auctions, said they would now approach these bidders to solicit offers on the three-storey home, which was frozen by the Special Tribunal last year. The auctioneers had hoped to sell the house for over R4-million.
A large portion of the money used to build the home came from a National Lotteries Commission (NLC) grant meant to fund an initiation programme.
On Thursday, the SIU released a series of graphics that showed how the Lottery money was spent. The SIU investigations found that the money used for the purchase of the land and construction of the home came from non-profit organisation that received NLC funding meant for the roll-out of a public campaign of culturally sensitive medical intervention projects aimed at achieving traditional circumcision practice.
The 502 square metre property in upmarket Bryanston in Johannesburg has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen, an open-plan dining room with a family room, lounge, a large rooftop garden with an entertainment area, a double garage, and a maid’s quarters. It is in a complex that has 24-hour security and is close to the Gautrain bus stop. It is also close to Johannesburg’s green belt. Auctioneers are now in the process of contacting interested bidders.
This followed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Proclamation R32 of 2020, which authorised the SIU to investigate allegations of corruption and maladministration in the affairs of the National Lotteries Commission (NLC).
The auction follows a preservation order granted by the Gauteng High Court to the Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) and the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) on 4 November 2022 to freeze Pheto’s home and several other properties, the SIU said in a statement.
“The SIU investigations have found that the money used for the purchase of the land and construction of the home came from non-profit organisations that received NLC funding meant for the roll-out of a public campaign and culturally sensitive medical intervention projects aimed at achieving traditional circumcision practice.
“After the preservation order was granted, Pheto’s legal representatives contacted the SIU and the AFU indicating that they will not contest the preservation order granted by the High Court,” their statement said.
Renfrew, the auctioneer of the property, said no bids reached the starting bid of R3-million. “We will market the property to the 28 interested people first.” He also told GroundUp that they hope to have an offer within the next two weeks. He also suggested that press coverage of the property might have put potential bidders off.
Kaizer Kganyago, a spokesperson for the SIU, said they would wait to hear back from the AFU before proceeding forward with the matter.