SASSA staff sentenced seven years for fraud and corruption

BY SUPPLIED - DECEMBER 10, 2015

As the world celebrated the International Anti-Corruption Day yesterday the 9th December, Five (5) former South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) employees based at the Gugulethu Local Office were sentenced to an effective seven (7) years imprisonment by the Bellville Commercial Crime Court after being charged for fraud.

 All five employees were suspended from duty and subsequently dismissed. The criminal case initially appeared in court on the 10th November 2015. The monetary value of these fraud cases amounts to R70 000.

 The Anti-Corruption Day was designated by the General Assembly of the United Nations to raise awareness about corruption. This year the campaign highlights that corruption is a cross-cutting crime, impacting on many areas and that acting against corruption is imperative to achieving prosperity for all.

 In November 2013 SASSA hosted its 1st annual Anti-Corruption Conference under the theme “Closing the fraud and corruption gap in the social grant administration process”.

 The event was attended by more than six hundred and fifty delegates, including the Minister, Directors-General and other senior staff members of Social Development, NDA, SASSA CEO, members of the SASSA Advisory Committee,  Parliament Portfolio Committee for Social Development, Parliament Select Committee, SCOPA, Audit Committee, Auditor-General SA, Public Protector, Correctional Services, Public Service Commission, Law Enforcement Agencies regional Steering Committees, SASSA Head Office and Regional Executive and General Management, regional Grant Administrators and the Fraud Management and Compliance Department.

 The 2nd Anti-Corruption Conference was held on 30 to 31 March 2015.  The objective was to commemorate Human Rights Day with the theme “Ensuring human rights for all through a fraud free social grants system”. The Conference was attended by approximately 1,300 delegates, consisting of JCPS Ministries and other Government Departments, public sector, private and civil sector.

 A Conference pledge was signed to align to the JCPS targets to encourage:

 a) Greater coordination and interaction between the Justice Crime Prevention and Security Cluster and the aligned role-players to mount a united front against crime and corruption, and

 b) Continue with focused crime reduction and activities by Law Enforcement Agencies, coupled with dedicated prosecution and court related activities.

 “We will stop at nothing in ensuring that we root out all forms of corruption within the social grant system. Every case of fraud in the system robs a deserving poor South African of a chance to improve their lives” said Ms Virginia Petersen, SASSA CEO.

 “We call upon the public to work together with SASSA and the authorities in helping to expose fraudsters, especially those who rob the poor of their livelihood. SASSA remains committed to eliminating any form of fraud or corruption that involves its name and its social grants services” concluded Ms Petersen