Pension fraud probe
THE SA Social Security Agency in Mpumalanga has asked the taxman and the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) to investigate a case of fraud after a group of pensioners were left penniless by fraudsters.
The probe was sparked by a Sowetan story two weeks ago. Sassa referred the matter to its service provider, Cash Payment Services, which initiated an investigation.
"[Initially] the investigation revealed that the money was withdrawn legitimately. There were no signs of fraud at all," said Sassa spokesman Senzeni Ngubeni
"Now we have to find out exactly where the monies were withdrawn. We will go to those shops or banks and view CCTV footages and identify the people who withdrew the monies. the South African Revenue Service and the SIU will investigate the matter further."
On May 18, Sowetan published a story about a group of pensioners who fell prey to fraud. This saw some leave a pay point station in Chweni, Kabokweni, empty-handed after officials told them they did not have any money because it had been withdrawn at various ATMs.
Sibonangayo Mkhabele's slip showed that her available balance was R3.56. The slip given to Mkhabele, 65, showed that R1170 was withdrawn on May 3 at a Nedbank ATM.
Another victim, Lina Mavundhla, 73, was supposed to have received her pension money and child grant for her two young grandchildren.
She was only given R70 instead of R1760.
And like Mkhabele, Mavundhla does not have a bank account.
The slip given to her showed that her money was withdrawn at an Absa ATM in Midway, Middelburg - more than 100km from her home.
After receiving the R70, Mavundhla only had R6.38 to her name.
"This is a serious matter because the beneficiaries say they do not have bank accounts and they are still in possession of their cards.
"We will investigate the matter and take action (against perpetrators)," Ngubeni said. - firstname.lastname@example.org