Suspects in court again

2019-06-05 06:00

The 33 suspects fingered in the South African Social Security Agency’s (Sassa) fraud scam in Botshabelo are expected back in the Botshabelo Magistrate’s Court for preliminary hearing.

The 28 women and five men are set to reappear in court on Thursday (06/06).

The fraud scam hearing took place from 22 to 27 May.

It saw 32 suspects granted bail of R500 each, with the exception of Malefu Mokhethi (41).

The case followed their arrest by the police’s Provincial Organised Crime Unit, comprised of Crime Intelligence, Public Order Police and the Criminal Record Centre.

Sgt Sinah Mpakane, the provincial police spokesperson, said no other arrests have been made relating to the fraudulent scam, adding that investigation was ongoing.

She said Mokhethi remains behind bars after her bail application was turned down by the state on her first appearance on 15 May.

Mpakane said according to preliminary investigation, Mokhethi is believed to be the mastermind behind the fraud scam.

She is expected to again apply for bail during her appearance along with the 32 other alleged accomplices.

They face a charge of fraud, allegedly after swindling Sassa of an undisclosed amount of money.

To defraud Sassa, the syndicate, collaborating with scrupulous doctors, reportedly falsified medical conditions to qualify for state disability grant.

The alleged mastermind behind the scam, according to the police findings, targeted vulnerable people with a promise of assisting them to obtain social grants.

According to the police’s initial findings, Mokhethi allegedly issued them with fraudulent doctors’ referral letters qualifying them to apply for grants for a fee ranging from R200.

The scam came to Sassa’s attention after one undeserving beneficiary blew the whistle, confessing to having paid an undisclosed amount of money to enable her to qualify to get a grant from Sassa.

This was made possible with a forged medical referral of a doctor known to her.

Beneficiaries are advised to call Sassa on 0800-601-011 whenever they are offered any service relating to grants for money, no matter how little the charge.

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