Post office employee, one other arrested for allegedly withdrawing Sassa beneficiary funds

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Grant beneficiaries waiting outside the Greytown Post Office to collect their payments.
Grant beneficiaries waiting outside the Greytown Post Office to collect their payments.
PHOTO: Andile Sithole
  • Two women have been arrested for allegedly withdrawing funds that were meant for social grant beneficiaries.
  • One of the women is a post office employee.
  • More arrests are expected to be made.

A post office employee and her alleged accomplice have been arrested for fraud after it emerged that they allegedly withdrew funds meant for South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) grant beneficiaries.

The Hawks arrested the employee, 43-year-old Thandeka Dibakwane, and Lizzy Precious Smangele Nyathi, 42, on Tuesday.

READ | Hawks arrest more than 80 people countrywide in probe into R21m Sassa fraud

They face charges of fraud, theft and conspiracy to commit fraud, according to Hawks spokesperson Captain Dineo Lucy Sekgotodi.

They appeared in the Bushbuckridge Magistrate's Court on Wednesday and were each released on R20 000 bail.

According to Sekgotodi, the women reissued "social grant cards by circumventing the system", with the help of two other women, who were also employed at the Shatale Post Office in Mpumalanga.

Sekgotodi said:

The [post office] manager allegedly colluded with the post office tellers, who would delay the issuing of the original cards to the lawful owners and give the cards to … [Nyathi] who would then visit different ATMs and withdraw money, which they all shared.

By the time the women were caught, they had withdrawn R17 500, according to the Hawks. An internal investigation first detected the alleged fraud and it was reported to the Hawks.

The arrest of the other suspects is imminent, Sekgotodi added.

The case was postponed to 21 July.

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