MPUMALANGA: Members of the Hawks in Mpumalanga, SASSA and Crime Intelligence officers have arrested eight officials from South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) for fraud and corruption on Thursday, 23 March 2017.

The suspects, eight women and a man, whose ages range between 32 and 63, allegedly manipulated the system by registering able people as people living with disabilities so that those people could receive grant money for which they did not qualify. The suspects defrauded the state for over R5.5 million. The investigations into the matter was started in December 2015.

Suspects will appear before the Tonga Magistrate Court on Friday 24 March 2017.

Provincial Head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation in Mpumalanga Major General Zodwa Mokoena commended the officers for cracking a whip on corruption, saying whoever is involved in any fraudulent and corrupt activities must be warned that the clock is ticking and the Hawks are closing in on them. “Corruption in government and private sector robs our people of what is due to them and as a unit entrusted with rooting out corruption we will stop at nothing to ensure that corrupt officials are removed from the system and face the wrath of the justice system”, concluded Major General Mokoena.