council staff on grant fraud

CIVIL servants in the Musina local municipality in Limpopo face criminal charges for fraudulently collecting child grants they are not entitled to.

CIVIL servants in the Musina local municipality in Limpopo face criminal charges for fraudulently collecting child grants they are not entitled to.

Thirty-four employees have been implicated but so far only 14 have been found to have engaged in the corrupt activities.

Municipal spokesperson Wilson Dzebu confirmed yesterday that the 14 employees had been found to have defrauded the state.

Dzebu said an investigation has discovered that one of the officials was paid R39000 while others had received between R10000 and R15000 each.

"We are busy with our own internal investigations as we believe the implicated officials have denied deserving applicants of their right to the money," Dzebu said.

He said the discovery followed an intensive investigation by the police's special investigating unit.

There have always been suspicions that many civil servants in the area were receiving grants despite the fact that they did not qualify.

Dzebu said during their investigations, it was discovered that some among the 34 officials had applied for cancellation after being employed by the municipality.

Dzebu confirmed that the 14 officials continued to receive the grant money.

He said appropriate action would be taken against the officials once investigations had been completed.

"We are aware that there were other officials who complied with the policy and applied for cancellation to stop receiving the money because that amounted to fraud.

"As a municipality we want to show how serious we are about the fight against fraud and corruption.

"We will stop at nothing to ensure that those found to be engaged in such criminal activities in our municipality are apprehended and face the full might of the law," he said.

The culprits are expected to appear in the Polokwane magistrate's court today.

Police spokesperson Superintendent Mohale Ramatseba confirmed yesterday that all in all, 56 people throughout the province would appear in the Polokwane magistrate's court today and tomorrow on fraud charges relating to receiving child support grants and the illegal acquiring of RDP houses.

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