Picture: Pexels
Picture: Pexels

Four Sassa officials appear over alleged R5m fake grant application fraud

By Logan Marshall Time of article published Oct 15, 2021

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Cape Town – Four South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) officials in the Eastern Cape were each granted R2 000 bail in the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in Gqeberha on Friday.

The quartet – senior administrator Philani Kwatsha, 44, from Keiskammahoek; Vunyiwe Toto, 48, from Cradock; Mziwamidida Ngqoqo, 46, from Graaff-Reinet; and Zuvukile Qaleta, 40, also from Graaff-Reinet, appeared in court in connection with fraud charges amounting to R5.7 million.

According to Hawks spokesperson Captain Yolisa Mgolodela, the quartet are accused of submitting over a thousand fake grant applications, which had been processed in March 2019. The case was postponed to November 15.

In March last year, five Sassa officials who allegedly created and deposited money into fake grant accounts appeared in the Durban Commercial Crimes Court.

The five were arrested at various Sassa offices around the country for allegedly illegally capturing and processing old-age pension grants which did not meet the necessary requirements.

The prints affixed in the grant applications were not those of the alleged grant applicants or beneficiaries. The grants processed – at the Hlanganani, Mooi River and Richmond local offices – were also allegedly not for the benefit of the alleged grant applicants, which amounted to R1 510 650.93.

The accused also allegedly transferred grant money to various accounts for beneficiaries not known to Sassa. The bulk of the accounts were opened at Post Bank in Gugulethu in Cape Town.


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