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Former Sassa Officials and Accomplices Arrested in R200,000 Disability Grant Fraud Case

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Former Sassa Officials and Accomplices Arrested in R200,000 Disability Grant Fraud Case

Former Sassa Officials and Accomplices Arrested in R200,000 Disability Grant Fraud Case. In a recent development, two former South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) officials and nine other individuals, aged between 38 and 61, have been apprehended on charges related to disability grant fraud. This successful operation, conducted by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, commonly known as the Hawks, took place over two days in Tzaneen.

Former Sassa Officials Among the Arrested

Among those arrested are two individuals who previously held positions as officials within Sassa. Their alleged involvement in the fraudulent activities raises significant concerns.

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Joint Effort by Hawks and Sassa Officials

Lieutenant Colonel Matimba Maluleke, the provincial spokesperson for the Hawks, revealed that the sting operation was a collaborative effort between the Serious Corruption Investigation team and Sassa officials.

Recruitment and Fraudulent Activities

In 2018, the two former Sassa officials, operating as administration clerks, purportedly recruited members of the public to apply for disability grants, even though they did not meet the eligibility criteria for such grants. Once the applications were approved, the initial grant payments were redirected to the former Sassa officials as illicit rewards. Subsequently, the unauthorized beneficiaries continued to receive payments and kept the funds for themselves.

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Sassa Discovery and Reporting

The illicit scheme was eventually brought to light when Sassa uncovered the fraudulent activities and promptly reported the matter to the Hawks.

Repeat Offenders

It was further revealed that this was not the first time the two former Sassa officials had run afoul of the law. In February 2021, they were previously arrested by the same Hawks team for similar offenses and were subsequently released on bail. While on bail and under continued investigation, it became apparent that the suspects had committed additional similar offenses.

Government Commitment to Address Corruption

Major General Gopz Govender, Head of the Hawks in Limpopo, commended the law enforcement teams for their outstanding efforts in this case. He emphasized that both corrupt government officials and members of the public engaging in illegal activities would face the full force of the law going forward.

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This operation underscores the government’s commitment to combatting corruption and ensuring the integrity of social security programs in South Africa.

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