Four officials of Cash Paymaster Service (CPS) and 45 of their co-accused charged with fraud and corruption made separate appearances at the Mahlabathini Magistrate’s Court this week.
The CPS is a service provider to Sassa dealing with the paying out of pensions and other government grants.
The four officials, who appeared in court yesterday were arrested for allegedly registering “ghost” children and issuing false grant cards to 45 people who did not qualify for the benefits.
The alleged illegal operation had been run by the syndicate from a house in the Madaka area in Mahlabathini, according to the police.
The four CPS officials who appeared in court yesterday are Xolani Bhengu, 25, Sikhumbuzo Madwe, 27, Thobani Mbeje, 25, and Mazwi Vena, 27.
Police spokesperson Col Vincent Mdunge said the accused were allegedly found with three machines used for the issuing of grant cards, laptops, scanners for fingerprint identification, a printer, camera, microphone and a card reader.
These machines were allegedly stolen from Umbumbulu Sassa offices at night and returned in the morning after the accused had gone about their business.
About R47500 in cash was allegedly recovered from the accused during their arrest.
The 45 people, who were illegally registered by the four officials were also arrested and appeared in the same court on Monday. Their case was postponed to April 4 for further investigation. They were released on R1000 bail each.
According to the police the 45 accused allegedly paid between R1000 and R1500 to register “ghost” children. Some came from as far as Durban.