Sassa boss in jobs for pals scandal

2014-05-25 08:48


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) boss Virginia Petersen is embroiled in yet another scandal – this time for giving jobs to pals.

According to the Sunday Times, Petersen ensured that Faig Majiet, the son of a friend, was paid R9 000 per month as an intern when interns only received R4 500. Petersen also personally approved Majiet’s appointment to a six-month contract position once his internship had ended.

Majiet’s mother is Shanaaz Majiet, a deputy director-general at the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs and once worked closely with Petersen in the Western Cape government under former premier Ebrahim Rasool.

The newspaper reported that Petersen also appointed Rasool’s sister, Naziema, as inter-governmental and stakeholder relations manager for Sassa despite her not having the required qualification.

Petersen reportedly bumped up her salary and granted her extra perks. The advertisement for the job stated the salary would be an all inclusive package of R434 505 to R511 827 per annum. But Petersen approved a per annum salary of R606 579 plus a ministerial allowance of R4 245 per month and a once-off clothing allowance of R4 805. It is reported that Naziema also shares a house with Petersen.

This development comes after reports emerged recently that Sassa allegedly blew more than R10m on bodyguards for social development spokesperson Lumka Oliphant and other senior officials.

Tender process bypassed

A little-known security company, Vuco Security Solutions, based in KwaMashu outside Durban, was allegedly awarded the multi-million rand deal – without it having been put out on tender.

Among the payments made to Vuco were R1.1m for protection services for Oliphant and her family, R2.9m for protection for Petersen and Renay Ogle, general manager for fraud management and compliance, R95 460 a month since October last year to protect a whistle-blower from KwaZulu-Natal and R206 000 for a luxury Range Rover for Andile Khanyile, who is head of operations for Vuco.

Documents state that Petersen instructed that most of the contracts bypass the tender process and be funded from her own office.

However, in response to the allegations, Oliphant said that death threats and intimidation were some of the reasons why millions of rands had been spent on security protection services for top personnel at Sassa.


The agency has been embroiled in controversy of late, with fraud charges being brought against a number of officials.

In November, it was reported that communications head Paseka Letsatsi went on voluntary special leave prior to his arrest on fraud charges.

Sassa head Petersen had been made aware of the pending arrest Letsatsi himself, spokesperson Kgomoco Diseko said at the time.

Diseko said Petersen agreed with his voluntary request for a special leave, whilst awaiting the full report from the anti-corruption task team.

Letsatsi was arrested along with ANC national executive committee member Pule Mabe and Kabedi Ramosa.

They were facing charges of theft, fraud, and money laundering.

Letsatsi allegedly illegally solicited funds from the agency and gave these to companies owned by Mabe and Ramosa, eNCA reported.

Majavu said the charges against Letsatsi were from 2008 when Fezile Makiwane was the agency's chief executive.

Whatever allegedly happened was done within the scope of his employment as head of communications, Majavu said.

Makiwane was dismissed amid allegations of fraud and corruption.

Petersen would await the outcome of the investigations against Letsatsi before deciding on what action to take, Diseko said at the time.


In September, it was reported that three Sassa officials were arrested for corruption in Piet Retief.

Police spokesperson Selvy Mohlala said they gave unactivated, fraudulent grant payment cards to a woman who posed as an official and visited beneficiaries' homes on the pretext of verifying them as beneficiaries.

"In the process, she will ask for their Sassa cards and the pin code. She then exchanges the cards and gives the beneficiary the card that is not activated," he said.

Mohlala said a woman, Thembeni Nene, 48, was arrested in Piet Retief on 6 September after allegedly trying to swap cards at an ATM.

Mohlala said grant payment cards and birth certificates had been seized from the three officials' offices.

- News24
Read more on:    sassa  |  tenders

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


Get fit on a budget

It’s time to throw the “I can’t afford to exercise” excuse out the window.


Where were you when you last felt alive?

Tips for paddling your first Dusi
Climbing the world’s largest stone arch
Awesome extreme sports people
Watch: 2015 Absa Cape Epic route

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

SQL Database Administrator (DBA

Cape Town
Star Personnel
R30 000 Per Month

Senior Account Executive

Western Cape
Networkers International South Africa (Pty) Ltd
R80 000 - R100 000 Per Month

Manual Tester - Contract

Western Cape
Progressive IT Resourcing (Pty) Ltd

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now! - shop online today

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing prices – As seen on TV

Get mind blowing prices on 1000’s of products! Shop now.

Deal of the week!

Save R1200 on the Samsung 48” smart full HD LED television now only R8799. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25


You may prefer to be in charge because then you can call the shots. You are not as flexible as you like to make out to be and more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.