Three D.C. City Council members yesterday protested the city lottery board's consideration of a bid to operate the District's prospective daily numbers game that was submitted in part by Control Data Corp. because the firm does business in South Africa.

Council members Frank Smith Jr. (D-Ward 1), John Ray (D-At Large) and Hilda Mason (Statehood-At Large) told board Chairman Brant Coopersmith in a letter that even though Control Data's lottery bid--submitted under the name of a newly formed company called Columbia Gaming Services Inc.--would include a large minority representation, "that is not a good enough reason to excuse Control Data's vital role . . . " in South Africa.

A Control Data spokesman confirmed that the company does business in South Africa. General Instrument Corp., whose American Totalisator Systems Division also is bidding for the D.C. lottery contract, sells its products in South Africa, a spokesman for that firm said.

Gaming Systems Corp., the principal computer company in the third firm seeking the lottery bid, said it does no business in South Africa.

The board has said that it will give equal weight to the bidders' proposed price for operating the game and to the minority representation in the companies. The board did not mention if it would consider whether the companies do business in South Africa.

Coopersmith declined comment on the letter.