Durban – Seven people who allegedly defrauded the employment and labour department in the North West, made their first appearance in court on Monday.
The accused — with the youngest being 22 years old — were charged with 220 counts ranging from theft, fraud, and money laundering, of over R2 million.
Provincial NPA spokesperson Henry Mamothame said according to the Hawks investigation, the eight were arrested for alleged fraudulent claims from the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF).
“The report further indicated that two of the suspects were former employees of the Department of Employment and Labour in the North West Provincial Government.”
One was based at the Mahikeng office and the other at Klerksdorp.
“It is further alleged that four recruiting agents recruited unemployed individuals between 2019 and 2020.
“Those individuals were allegedly recruited under various false pretences.
“Some of the claimants were allegedly informed that they were being assisted to lodge claims from the Drought Relief Fund; while others were allegedly claiming money from the UIF; others were allegedly informed that they would be employed at the South African Revenue Service, while others were allegedly informed that they would be employed at Nomalalemba Project and other projects.”
Mamothame said claimants were allegedly each given R50 to open bank accounts.
“However the bank cards were allegedly kept by the suspects.
“In addition, the claimants were allegedly made to complete UIF claim forms masquerading as former employees of the Impala Platinum mine and Sibanye Ashanti Gold mine.
“Subsequently, the suspects allegedly processed their claims, resulting in the Department of Employment and Labour suffering a loss of over R2 million.”
The accused are: Phure Daniel Matshogo, 42, Zakaria Modise Mokgobi, 42, Thato Moiloa,26, Motlapele Otto, 58, Theophilus Mpheng, 39, Tebogo Joseph Mosito, 36, and Vusi Makhubo, 41.
The Hawks are still searching for the eight suspects.
The matter was adjourned in the Molopo Magistrate’s Court on Monday.
The accused are expected to apply for bail on June 14.