Pretoria businessman charged with allegedly defrauding UIF Covid-19 TERS of R150m

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Specialised Commercial Crimes Court
Specialised Commercial Crimes Court
PHOTO: Joseph Chirume, GroundUp

A Pretoria businessman was arrested after allegedly being caught red-handed bribing a labour department official and defrauding the UIF Covid-19 Temporary Employee/Employer Relief Scheme (TERS) of R150 million. 

Thabo Simbini, 29, appeared in the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crimes Court on corruption charges on Monday.

In a statement, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said Simbini was arrested in an undercover operation carried out by the Hawks. 

"Impossible Solutions, a company owned by Simbini, is alleged to have made fraudulent claims from the UIF Covid-19 TERS on behalf of people that were not in their employment. It is believed the company has already received R150 million," said NPA spokesperson Sipho Ngwema. 

The matter was postponed to 18 November for the State to register a fraud docket against Simbini, who remains in custody.  

Ngwema said investigations are ongoing and the State is likely to oppose bail.

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