33 in court for child grants graft

Andrew Hlongwane

Andrew Hlongwane

Government employees and private individuals were hauled before the Nelspruit magistrate's court after they were arrested for child support grant graft by the commercial crimes unit.

The 33 suspects were nabbed at their work places on Tuesday.

Twelve of the suspects arrested are from the education department, one from home affairs and one from social welfare itself, while the other 19 are from different private companies.

Police spokesman Captain Leonard Hlathi said the suspects have allegedly been receiving the grants for almost six years, while they were employed and getting good salaries.

"We started with this operation in June 2006, and so far we've established 620 dockets and arrested 544 suspects.

"We also recovered R3million from government employees who were getting the grant fraudulently," he said.

"We are working with the special investigation unit in Nelspruit as well as the department of social development in Mpumalanga.

"In our investigations, we've learnt that people are supplementing their salaries by also getting child support grants," Hlathi said.

He said the grants were solely for poor people and "not for people who get huge salaries".

He warned that all those who are still receiving child support grants illegally should stop their "gambling" without delay.

"We are on our way to your door, and we'll knock at the door at any time," warned Hlathi.

"Don't waste our time, just do the right thing and stop.

"Knowing your story, you should instead come and knock at our door because we'll embarrass you in front of your colleagues."

He said those who know they've defrauded the government should visit the nearest social development office or go to the offices where they applied for the grants.