By Theodorah waga Mawasha
POLOKWANE-It has emerged that out of the 5000 government workers who fraudulently benefited from R350 social relief of distress grant, over 1700 are state officials employed at various provincial health departments across the country.
The findings were announced by the MEC of Social Development Lindiwe Zulu when she was responding to a written parliamentary question from DA MP Mimmy Gondwe, who wanted details on the government’s efforts to recoup the 158 million spent on the grants. According to Zulu, every effort has been made to recoup the money from public servants who unduly benefitted from sassa.
Zulu said that a multi-party forum consisting of officials from the NPA, Financial Intelligence Center, police, Department of Public Service and Administration and sassa, has been established to investigate.
In September 2021, sassa stopped paying 177 000 government officials and in October of the same year, funds were nonetheless reinstated. Shockingly, a senior state employee with an annual salary of over 15 million is reported to be amongst the officials unduly benefiting from sassa.
“sassa is running parallel processes that are criminal and civil action to ensure that no civil servant escapes repaying sassa. When the NPA starts Prosecutions, then the funds recovery process will unfold. It is not possible to provide a date “, Zulu announced.
However, the figures did not not specify if the officials are employed at hospitals, clinics or within the administration of various departments.