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Former Post Office officials arrested for siphoning SASSA grant funds
2022/09/28

Media Statement
Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigation (HAWKS)

 

EASTERN CAPE – A 37-year-old post office branch manager, a 35-year-old post office teller, a 40-year-old former police official and boyfriend to the former post office branch manager and the 50-year-old former educator and husband to the post office teller were arrested by East London based Serious Corruption Investigation team of the Hawks in Queenstown on 27 September 2022 for allegations of fraud and money laundering.

It is alleged that during the period 2020 and 2021, Post Office officials were stealing SASSA grant funds for their personal enrichment. Information was received by Crime Intelligence and handed over to the Hawks for extensive probing.

The investigations revealed that the post office officials orchestrated the transactions by omitting, inflating under accounting entries on the systems in place to create an opportunity to siphone cash which was meant to pay SASSA beneficiaries. It is further alleged that ghost beneficiaries were also created. The Inter Grant Payment System (IGPS) and the accounting system were manipulated in this fashion.

On 13 July 2021, during the collection of evidence, cash to the value of more than R139 000 was found at the suspects disposal either in vehicles or in their residential places. Further probing revealed that a total of more than R10.2 million was siphoned from the coffers of SASSA hence their arrest on 27 September 2022. They are expected to make their first court appearance in Mthatha Specialised Commercial Crimes Court on 28 September 2022.

The Acting Provincial Head, Brigadier Tamara Njikelana commended the team for their expert investigation skills which ultimately ensured that the perpetrators are brought to book.

Ends

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