MEC clamps down on ghost grants

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

KwaZulu-Natal MEC for social development Meshack Hadebe has pledged that more people would be arrested for defrauding his department ofghost payments.

Hadebe made the pledge following the arrest on Friday of 32 people for allegedly defrauding his department of more than R350000 for nine ghost children.

He said of those arrested, two were officials and one was an employee of the University of Zululand (Ongoye) who collected grants for nine ghost children.

"This is just the tip of the iceberg. We will arrest more people. We can't have a situation where undeserving people fill their pockets and stomachs with poor people's money.

"We urge members of the public to be the ears and eyes because they know these people," Hadebe said.

He said the majority of the people arrested had bought their birth certificates from Pinetown, Chatsworth, Durban station and KwaMakhutha.

He said because of the high corruption rate lately, they had decided to freeze all new applications made on Monday.

"We will scrutinise each and every application before it is processed and people will be arrested," he warned.

Hadebe said police were aware of a doctor who issued more than 500 sick certificates a day in Port Shepstone.

"We are investigating that and heads will roll," he said.