Grants for his siblings

2015-07-14 06:00

A South African social security agency (Sassa) official has been suspended after being linked to grant fraud.

The official was based at the Mitchell’s Plain Sassa office.

“On Monday 17 February last year, a member of the public consulted the offices of Sassa in Cape Town to lodge a complaint into alleged irregularities in the awarding of social grants at the Mitchell’s Plain local office,” says national spokesperson Kgomoco Diseko.

This set the probe in motion as the complainant alleged that an official at the office was collecting money from residents in exchange for the successful processing of social grants, Diseko says.

“In addition, it was also alleged that the official was processing applications for siblings.”

An internal investigation by the fraud management and compliance department of Sassa confirmed that social grants were processed by the official under investigation for 10 beneficiaries who were either directly related to, or the biological children of, the official, who applied for child support grants.

The total of the social grants awarded in this fraudulent way amounted to R172 132.

The official was placed on precautionary suspension and will be subject to disciplinary action.

“For the moment there is only one person suspended, but we are looking into the matter,” Diseko tells People’s Post.

He says the investigation is already at an advanced stage and more officials will be suspended should they be linked.

He adds that disciplinary action should be carried out against the suspended official as soon as the end of the month.

The case was reported to the police.

“The social grants, in respect of both the perpetrator’s siblings, were processed without any physical social grant application files, nor did the siblings undergo any medical assessments in relation to the disability grants,” Diseko says.

“The Mitchell’s Plain area is exposed to social pathologies, including violent crime, gangsterism, drug and alcohol abuse and poverty. It is therefore imperative that Sassa ensures that the right social grant is paid to the right person at the right time and place. Where social grant fraud is committed implicating Sassa officials, it will be met with zero tolerance.”

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