Picture: istock
Picture: istock

Man arrested, more arrests expected in Eastern Cape fake Sassa disability grants scam

By Jonisayi Maromo Time of article published Sep 20, 2020

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East London – A man has been arrested and more arrests are expected to follow in connection with a scheme in which the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) was allegedly defrauded of almost R1.2 million in the Eastern Cape, the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI), commonly knowns as the Hawks, in the province said on Sunday.

A 51-year-old man had been arrested and was expected to appear in the Zwelitsha Regional Court, west of East London near King William’s Town, soon, Eastern Cape Hawks spokesperson Lwando Zenzile said in a statement.

“The suspect from Kwatyutyu, in King William’s Town, allegedly recruited community members in the same area, Bisho and Zwelitsha, to supply him with identity numbers which he provided to Sassa officials and they then fraudulently created disability grants on their behalf between August 2018 and September 2019,” said Zenzile.

The Hawks serious corruption crime investigation unit and South African Police Service (SAPS) crime intelligence officers teamed up after they were alerted to the alleged fraudulent and corrupt activities of the 51-year-old man and Sassa officials.

“The investigating team established that after the money get loaded into individual accounts, the suspect made withdrawals and gave the so-called beneficiaries half of the money and the rest was shared among him and the officials. The suspect was apprehended on Friday and further arrests are expected soon,” Zenzile said.

Earlier this year, a 54-year-old KwaZulu-Natal woman and her two co-accused appeared in court after they were arrested for allegedly defrauding Sassa of more than R7 million.

Lindiwe Shangase was arrested in Westville in Durban, and police recovered two cellphones, personal files, bank cards, and various other documents.

KwaZulu-Natal SAPS spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala said at the time that the suspects were found in possession of 47 Sassa cards and R73,000 in cash.

African News Agency/ANA

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