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Two former Sassa officials, nine others arrested for alleged R200,000 disability grant fraud

An individual holding up a Sassa card.

Sassa suffered a loss of more than R200,000. File Picture

Published Sep 16, 2023


Eleven suspects made their first court appearance in Tzaneen Magistrate’s Court in Limpopo on Friday on charges of fraud relating to disability grants.

The suspects aged between 38 and 61 were arrested following a two-day sting operation in Tzaneen on Wednesday and Thursday by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (known as Hawks).

Among the suspects are two are former officials from the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa).

The provincial spokesperson for the Hawks, Lieutenant Colonel Matimba Maluleke said the sting operation was conducted by members of the Serious Corruption Investigation team assisted by Sassa officials.

Maluleke in 2018, the two former Sassa officials in their capacities as administration clerks allegedly recruited members of the public to apply for disability grants although they were not disabled.

After the applications were successfully processed, the first few payments received would be given to the former Sassa officials as gratification. The unlawful beneficiaries would then continue receiving payments and pocketing the money thereafter.

This soon came to an end when Sassa uncovered the truth and reported the matter to the Hawks.

It was also revealed it was not the first time the two former Sassa officials had a brush with the law and were previously arrested by the same team from the Hawks.

“The department suffered a loss of over R200,000 due to these illegal activities. The two former officials were previously arrested by the same team in February 2021 for similar offences and released on bail. Whilst out on bail and the investigation was continuing, it was discovered that the suspects committed other similar offences,” Maluleke said.

Head of the Hawks in Limpopo, Major General Gopz Govender commended the teams for their sterling work.

“All corrupt government officials as well as members of the public will from this day going forward feel the unmistakable arm of the law,” Govender said.