Two former South African Social Security Agency officials, Solani Agnes Baloyi (56) and Jacob Manamela (64) were each sentenced to an effective five years imprisonment for disability grant fraud.
They were sentenced by the Giyani Specialised Commercial Crimes Court on 21 February 2023.
TWO OFFICIALS BUSTED FOR CRIMINAL SHENANIGANS
During January 2015, the accused who were stationed at Tzaneen SASSA offices recruited unemployed people from the area to apply for disability grants whereas they were not disabled.
The applications were also successfully processed by the accused and the payments were made to unfit beneficiaries. The first payments would be shared with the officials while the other payments would be for the beneficiaries.
The authorities from SASSA received a tip off about the fraudulent activities and reported the matter to the Hawks’ Serious Commercial Crime Investigation. After conducting a thorough Investigation, the accused were arrested and released on bail until they were found guilty and sentenced.
The department has suffered a loss of R600 000-00 due these fraudulent activities.
The Provincial Head of the Hawks in Limpopo Province, Major General Gopz Govender has stated that this should serve as a deterrent to other fraudsters who might commit fraud on monies that are meant to assist members of the community who are living with disabilities.
MEC NDALANE WELCOMES THE SENTENCING OF TWO SASSA OFFICIALS
Ndalane commended the diligent investigative work by the Hawks’ Serious Commercial Crime investigation team for the sterling job which led to the successful prosecution of the two.
“It is unacceptable that the government also lost R600 000 in this fraudulent practice. This is also a huge amount of money lost to the government. Which could have benefitted the many deserving poor members of our society,” expressed Ndalane.
The MEC called on members of our communities to report such fraudulent practices. Which are also robbing our people of resources. That could be used for the benefit of the vulnerable members of our community.