Seventeen suspects including a prosecutor, Thembalethu Non-Profit Organization’s Site Manager and Administrator as well as 14 ghost workers are expected to appear in the Makhado Magistrate’s court today. This follows their arrest by the Hawks’ Serious Corruption Investigation members on 15 and 16 March 2022.

It is alleged that between 2016 and 2021, Thembalethu (NPO) was awarded a tender by the Department of Cooperative Governance, Human Settlement and Traditional Affairs to clean the Makhado area.


It is further alleged that the Site Manager and the Administrator recruited their friends and relatives as employees of the Community Workers Programme (CWP).

The investigations revealed that the workers never set foot in the Makhado area to perform the duties. But they were paid R2540-00 each every month.

Further investigation also revealed that after the money was paid into the ghost workers’ bank accounts. They would request them to pay back R1500-00 through various means.


The Vuwani Prosecutor who is apparently a husband to the Site Manager. She was allegedly one of the recipients of the money paid back by the ghost workers.

The department suffered a loss of over R900 000-00 due to these illegal activities. Following an intensive investigation, the suspects were arrested at their respective homes in Thohoyandou, Majosi and Bochum areas.

The search for other outstanding ghost workers is underway.