Pensioners are left penniless
A GROUP of pensioners who fell prey to fraudsters last month have expressed their anger and frustration after police refused to investigate the matter.
Some of the pensioners from Chweni at Kabokweni, Mpumalanga, left a paypoint station empty-handed, while some were short-paid.
Though the pensioners received the monies this month, they live with heartaches and fear of being defrauded again.
"I thought that we would get the payment for last month as well but that was not the case. We need the money. I am glad I got my pension money this month but I fear it (fraud) will happen again," said Sibonangayo Mkhabele.
She said they had been to Ngodini police station to open a case but the police told them that they could not be helped.
"Last month when we discovered that our monies had been withdrawn, we went to the police station but we were told to go to Sassa (SA Social Security Agency)," saidMkhabele, 65.
"We went to the police station again this week after seeing that we did not get our monies but we were sent back to Sassa. The police have refused to open a case and we do not know what else to do.
"Sassa officials say there is nothing they can help us with."
On May 18, Sowetan published a story about a group of pensioners who were defrauded. Officials at the paypoint station told them they did not have any money because it had been withdrawn at various ATMs.
Mkhabele's slip showed that her available balance was R3.56. The slip given to Mkhabele showed that R1170 was withdrawn on May 3 at a Nedbank ATM.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The slip given to her showed that her money was withdrawn at an Absa ATM in Midway, Middelburg - more than 100km from her home.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.
Mpumalanga police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Leonard Hlathi said the pensioners should ask for the station commander when they arrive at the station, who would then assist them.
Provincial Sassa spokesman Senzeni Ngubeni said earlier this month that their investigation had shown no signs of fraud. He expressed shock that police had refused to open a case for the pensioners.
"We can only investigate within our system. It's strange that police are refusing to open the case because it's them who have to take the matter forward. There is nothing that Sassa can do," Ngubeni said.
He said Sassa could not open a case because the money was already in the beneficiaries' accounts at the time the crime was committed. He said the agency deposits monies into beneficiaries' accounts on the first day of the month. - firstname.lastname@example.org