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2023/06/12      |  Written By:  Lieutenant Colonel T Mathebula   |   Province:  North West

NORTH WEST – Six suspects aged between 36 and 58 were arrested in Mahikeng on 10 June 2023 by the Hawks’ Serious Commercial Crime Investigation and the Priority Crime Specialised Investigation unit for alleged fraudulent claims from the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF). It is alleged that the suspects, two former employees of the Department of Employment and Labour in the North West Provincial Government at the Mahikeng and Klerksdorp offices, and four recruiting agents allegedly recruited unemployed individuals between 2019 and 2020. Those individuals were allegedly recruited under various false pretences.

Some of the claimants were allegedly informed that they were being assisted to lodge claims from the Drought Relief Fund; while others were allegedly claiming money from UIF; others were allegedly informed that they would be employed at the South African Revenue Services, while others were allegedly informed that they would be employed at Nomalalemba Project and other projects.

The claimants were allegedly each given R50 to open bank accounts; however, bank cards were kept by the suspects. In addition, the claimants were allegedly made to complete UIF claim forms masquerading as former employees of Impala Platinum mine and Sibanye Ashanti Gold mine.

Subsequently, the suspects allegedly processed their claims, resulting in the Department of Employment and Labour suffering a loss of over R2-million

The suspects will make their first appearance before Mahikeng District Court on 12 June 2023, where they will be facing charges of fraud, money laundering and theft.

The Provincial Head for the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation in North West, Major General Patrick Mbotho, commended the investigation team for their sterling work and further lauded the National Prosecuting Authority for assisting the investigation team in building a watertight case against the suspects. General Mbotho cautioned the public to refrain from engaging in criminal activities as law enforcement will not hesitate to take action against lawbreakers.