'The River' Cobra Mokoena

‘The River’ actor Cobra played by Presley Chweneyagae. Image via Twitter @1Magic

‘Tsotsi’ star Presley Chweneyagae also embroiled in Lotto scandal

Actor Presley Chweneyagae – like his ‘Tsotsi’ co-star Terry Pheto – is also implicated in the NLC fraud case, as over R65m was ‘stolen’.

'The River' Cobra Mokoena

‘The River’ actor Cobra played by Presley Chweneyagae. Image via Twitter @1Magic

Another Tsotsi star Presley Chweneyagae has been implicated in the ongoing National Lotteries Commission (NLC) fraud case being investigated by the Special Investigations Unit (SIU).

ALSO READ: ‘I deny any involvement’: Terry Pheto claps back at fraud claims

According to 702, GroundUp investigative journalist Raymond Joseph revealed on Tuesday 13 December that over R67.5 million was received for projects including a musical event called Taking Back the Future by the Southern African Youth Movement (SAYM) which the actor was reportedly an embassador of.

The news come a month after Chweneyagae’s co-star, Terry Pheto, was implicated in the same scandal which involves the misappropriation of funds meant for the poor.

ALSO READ: ‘State witness’: Terry Pheto ‘fully co-operating’ in NLC fraud case


Joseph says that he started his investigation in 2018. According to his findings, the SAYM show was billed to take place in three provinces in 2017 but there is no evidence of any of the events except for pictures of the opening night.

“The only evidence I got was pictures from the opening night of the musical in Mahikeng,” Joseph said.

ALSO READ: SIU told ‘dismayed’ Terry Pheto about NLC probe two months ago

Chweneyagae — who played the role of Tsotsi in the award-winning film of the same name — is also well-known for his role as Cobra in The River. The actor is a also a writer and director, and was listed as the co-writer and co-director of the SAYM show.

In addition, his organisation — called the Presley Chwenengayae Foundation— was included in all branding on all content related to the project and show including a vehicle funded by the NLC.


According to News24, the musical is one of three projects. The other two are a drug rehabilitation centre in Nelspruit, Mpumalang, as well as an old age home in Botshabelo in the Free State.

While Taking Back The Future received R15 million, the NLC annual reports reveal that SAYM received funding of over R67.5-million from the Lottery in total.

Joseph told 702 that Chweneyagae allegedly has a close relationship with some of the officials from the NLC.

“He turned up regularly at their events. He knew them and was a part of the circle where he would even MC their events,” he said.

The actor reportedly also works closely with SAYM executive director Alfred Sigudhla who took on the director role at Chwenegayae’s foundation in January 2012.

‘The River’ actor Cobra played by Presley Chweneyagae. Image via Twitter @1Magic


The actor has not yet responded to the allegations. However, SAYM board chairperson Dr Lekgotla Mafisa denied that the Chweneyagae Foundation is associated with the project.

“The board of SAYM took note of the risk of association [and] at its own discretion advised the NLC that Chweneyagae Foundation would not participate as an interested party in the project.

“We hope that you are not going to use Mr Chweneyagae maliciously to sensationalise his participation in the project, of which he is not a beneficiary. The SAYM is a beneficiary and not the Chweneyagae Foundation. Mr Presley Chweneyagae was not paid in his personal capacity,” Mafisa told Joseph.

In response to little evidence of the show on the internet or media, Mafisa said that the documents had been destroyed as the event was over fives years old.

“Many organisations shred documents every five years as per sound document management standards, which we are sure you are familiar with,” he said.