Conned out of counting his chickens

Canaan Mdletshe

A man realised he had been swindled by a social welfare official at a chicken outlet.

David Shezi, 53, of Mandeni, KwaZulu-Natal , pictured, now claims to be living in fear after the same official allegedly threatened to have him killed.

A local doctor declared him unfit to work last year and said he was eligible for a state grant.

"He said it would take three weeks to process. But after four months I still had no help. Finally a woman from the welfare offices came to my aid," he said.

"Our applications were processed on the spot. We were given our cards and R15000 cash."

But the woman took the group to a nearby chicken outlet and forced them to split the money with her and another woman.

"They gave each of us R4000 and said we should not complain as we had not signed any papers and had defrauded the department," Shezi said.

"I don't know what to do. The police promised to investigate. The others have just given up. I can't give up because I have no other means of getting money."

Social Welfare Department spokesman Mandla Ngema expressed shock at the allegations and said people don't have "to pay off welfare staff" to access grants.