Police swoop on 8 Sassa employees for R2m social grant scam

File picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi/African News Agency (ANA)

File picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Mar 13, 2020


Durban - EIGHT employees of the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) were

arrested on Thursday for defrauding the

agency of more than R2 million.

The agency said it was currently compiling submissions for the precautionary suspension of five of the eight staff members.

The five - Sanelisiwe Patricia Ludidi, Primrose Baxolile Jiji, Sabelo Salanus Mbambo, Nhlanhla Macdonald Ndaba, and Mbongiseni Patric Madlala - appeared yesterday in the Mooi River Magistrate’s Court, where they were released on R5000 bail each.

This was according to KZN Sassa spokesperson Sandy Godlwana, who said the five were still employed by the agency at the time of their arrest.

They were arrested along with three others who had subsequently resigned.

“The three are expected to make their first appearance in court, in Mooi River, today. Sassa welcomes the arrests. There is an ongoing investigation by law enforcement agencies,” she said.

Godlwana said Sassa’s labour relations department, while compiling submissions for the precautionary suspensions, was also awaiting a report from investigators, with details of the transgressions that were committed.

She said it was alleged that the eight processed 126 old-age grants at the Mooi River Sassa office, and bank accounts were opened at the Gugulethu, Cape Town Post Office branch.

“They are all charged with fraud to the value of R2665625.54. The offences were committed between 2010 and December 2011,” Godlwana said.

She said the eight were from Durban and Pietermaritzburg.

“Social grants fraud remains the biggest challenge for Sassa, countrywide. The Sassa KwaZulu-Natal fraud and compliance unit has been working around the clock to tackle this fraud in the region.

“Following our multi-disciplinary stakeholder collaboration, there have been more convictions and sentencing, of perpetrators of fraud, which includes Sassa officials and members of the public,” she said.

Godlwana said the agency was also engaging in a project called “Shayumoya” which was supported by Sassa’s national fraud management team.

“This is a prosecution-led investigation, with a special budget allocation. The project is intended to render joint task team investigations consisting of Sassa, the South African Police Service and the National Prosecution Authority: Director of Public Prosecutions office, to investigate cases and to bring perpetrators before courts, in the process recovering the prejudice suffered,” said Godlwana.

She said the agency subscribed to a zero-tolerance approach when it came to fraud and corruption.

“Perpetrators must suffer the harshest penalties by the courts, as these people are taking from the poor.

“It’s also worth mentioning that Sassa KZN is performing daily verification of transactions (VOT), at all Sassa local offices, which is also assisting in identifying ghosts that might have been captured.”

People are encouraged to report fraudulent activities that they may be aware of, by calling the Fraud Hotline on 0800601011 or 0800701701.

Daily News

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