Sassa trio arrested with spy device

2010-03-02 00:00

THREE people were arrested at the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) office in Sikhawini on Friday for allegedly being members of a syndicate defrauding the agency in that area.

The three , who include an Sassa employee, a security guard and a former volunteer in the office, were arrested on Thursday and appeared briefly in court on Friday. Their case was remanded for bail on March 8.

Mbizeleni Mdlalose, a spokesman for the agency, said a thorough investigation by the police commercial crimes unit had netted the three suspects.

“These three people were found with a spyware device, which is able to steal from unsuspecting people user passwords and IDs that the Sassa officials use to register people to obtain grants.”

He said the agency has had to deal with a number of complaints related to ID and password theft.

He said more arrests will be made and urged the public to report any form of criminal conduct against the agency.

“To those who are still involved in defrauding the agency, we are coming for them …”

His words were echoed by KwaZulu-Natal regional executive manager at Sassa, Nhlanhla Ngidi, who said: “This is an important stride in the fight against corruption and a serious blow to the networks that are targeting the organisation.”

Mandla Ngema, spokesman for the MEC for Social Development, said the department is pleased about the arrests and will continue to tackle those involved in corruption and stealing from the poor.

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