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Wednesday, December 6, 2023

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KZN woman arrested for alleged R500,000 Covid-19 TERS fraud

A Durban woman was arrested this week on charges of fraud. Picture: Steve Buissinne/Pixabay

A Durban woman was arrested this week on charges of fraud. Picture: Steve Buissinne/Pixabay

Published Oct 6, 2023


A 40-year-old Durban woman has been released on R20,000 bail following her alleged involvement in Covid-19 Temporary Employee Relief Scheme fraud.

Nokuthula Ntuli was nabbed by the Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigations (known as the Hawks) on charges of fraud, corruption and money laundering.

Hawks spokesperson Captain Simphiwe Mhlongo said it is alleged that during the period of November 2020 to February 2021, Ntuli received an amount of R509,500 in her account from a company called Sandy and Sissy.

“It is further alleged that the company director of Sandy and Sissy, Nana Mbutho/Mkhize, allegedly claimed Covid-19 Temporary Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) on behalf of various companies and shared the money with her accomplices.”

Mbutho/Mkhize was arrested in February 2021 and is out on R100,000 bail.

Ntuli was arrested this week and appeared in the Durban Specialised Commercial Crime Court on Thursday.

Both accused will appear in court on November 17.

Mhlongo said more arrests are expected.

The KwaZulu-Natal Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation Provincial Head, Major General (Dr) Lesetja Senona, welcomed the arrest and commended the members for their good work.

In December 2022, the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) confirmed that it had hired more than 360 forensic auditors to trace and examine beneficiaries’ financial records.

UIF Commissioner Teboho Maruping said teams have already started knocking on the doors of employers who benefited from the scheme.

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