Johannesburg - A comprehensive forensic investigation will be conducted within the SA Police Service (SAPS) service termination section, the police ministry said on Sunday.
The section is responsible for the processing and payment of service termination benefits to former police employees, and those employed under the SAPS and public service acts, said ministry spokesman Zweli Mnisi.
The investigation, announced by Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa, followed the arrests of Eunice Sifunda, Daphney Mdluli, Nomcebo Sono and police employee Agnes Nkuna in connection with alleged service payout fraud and corruption, he said.
They were arrested after a case of fraud was opened by Kgolagano Mompati, son of the late Warrant Officer Rankwane Mompati, in Pretoria last month, said Mnisi.
Mthethewa described the arrests as the “tip of the iceberg”.
“It seems there is a serious syndicate that may involve more SAPS employees and other external people,” he said in a statement.
“What is more perturbing is the fact that one of the suspects is our own employee, someone who is entrusted with ensuring that the families of the deceased receive what is rightfully due to them.
“We will ensure that we get to the bottom of this rot and anyone who may be involved must face the full might of the law.”
Nkuna had been suspended, he said.
Mthethwa said she and the others were accused of organising clients (false dependants or beneficiaries) and completing false documents, such as a proof of relationships.
“This would lead to legitimate beneficiaries not receiving monies due to them and the sums being fraudulently deposited to the suspects' accounts,” he said, adding that more charges could be added as the investigation progressed.
“Whilst we have many hardworking and dedicated employees within SAPS, we cannot allow a few individuals to tarnish the department's name.
“We cannot have criminals disguised as employees swindling deserving beneficiaries.
“For this reason I have instructed the police management to institute a comprehensive forensic investigation within the environment of service termination.”