WANTED TO BUY FOOD: Nicholas Seema, 63, of Soshanguve said he received counterfeit notes at a Sassa pay-point.
Social grant beneficiary Nicholas Seema has laid charges after receiving counterfeit money from a SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) pay-point in Soshanguve, near Pretoria.

According to Sassa, at least five similar cases were under investigation in the same community since the beginning of the year.

Seema, 63, opened the case at Rosslyn police station and said officers had confirmed that the money was fake.

Seema said he was looking forward to buying his family groceries on Wednesday after collecting his grant, but to his shock found that most of the money paid to him at the pay-point turned out to be fake.

The Soshanguve resident said he was given R1680 at Kopanong Hall in Extension 4. “I got all my money, but it turned out that only R80 was real notes, I was so hurt.”

His family are dependent on his grant money. “This thing affected me badly, because we don't have food in the house. We live on my grant money.”

He said they had little food left from last month and that he had other things that required finances.

The father-of-four said he realised he had been given fake R100 notes only when he and his 14-year-old son went to buy groceries. “When I got home, I took R600 out and went to a supermarket outlet with my son. We filled the basket with groceries, but when I handed the money to the woman at the till, she checked and frowned and told me the money was fake,” he said.

Seema said that before he went to the supermarket, he bought vegetables near the pay-point, giving the seller R100 and receiving change, with no problem at all.

Subsequently, he returned to Kopanong Hall at around 4pm, but was denied entry by the security guard at the gate. “I took the rest of the money and went back there.

"When I got there, they were almost done and they wouldn't allow me into the building. A woman from Sassa came to the gate and told me to go to the police station.”

Sassa spokesperson Nandi Mosia said they were aware of the matter and that investigations were under way.

“The matter was reported to us on Friday by the old man from Soshanguve. Officials were instructed to trace him.

"What he was supposed to have done was go to the police first and open a case, because it becomes a criminal offence when a person is found in possession of fake notes. Thereafter, he should have come back to us and lodged a complaint,” Mosia added.

She said they were awaiting a report from the police. "If the investigations find otherwise, then the law will take its course.”

Mosia said Seema wouldn’t get his money, but would instead be given basic food parcels. “He will not be getting paid again this month."