Six people including two former Post Office officials are expected to appear in the Mthatha Specialised Commercial Crimes Court today on charges of fraud and money laundering.
They were arrested by members of the Hawks unit in Komani in the Eastern Cape on Tuesday.
It is alleged that the two former Post Office employees pocketed over R10 million in the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) grant funds.
Hawks spokesperson Yolisa Mgolodela says investigations revealed that the officials manipulated Sassa’s grant payment system by creating ghost beneficiaries.
Mgolodela says, “It is alleged that during the period 2020 and 2021, Post Office officials were stealing Sassa grant funds for their personal enrichment. The investigations revealed that the post office officials orchestrated the transactions by omitting, inflating under accounting entries on the systems in place to create an opportunity to siphon cash which was meant to pay Sassa beneficiaries. The Inter Grant Payment System (IGPS) and the accounting system were manipulated in this fashion.”
In April, a report published by Amabhungane alleged that Postbank, a subsidiary of the South African Post Office, was a victim of cybercrime fraud that involves a large sum of social grant funds stolen from the entity.
According to the report, the security breach which took place between October 16-28 last year resulted in the theft of R89.46 million.
The incident is alleged to involve the Postbank’s own workers or contractors and the cash was fraudulently transferred to 279 SASSA accounts and withdrawn at ATMs using cards issued by staff.
In the video below, Post Bank Acting CEO Kevin Maartens is interviewed: