Suspects in Sassa attempted hack in Mpumalanga appear in court

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Three suspects, who attempted to hack the system of the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) in Mbombela, Mpumalanga, have appeared in the Nelspruit Magistrate’s Court applying for bail.

Sydwel Masilela, Brian Masina and Moses Khumalo are facing 10 counts of fraud. It is alleged that the suspects conspired with Sassa officials to steal the money amounting to over R100 000.

The Nelspruit Magistrate’s Court began with new cases until midday, before the three suspects were called in the dock to make their bail application.

The three suspects presented their request to be considered for bail through affidavits by their legal representative.

27-year-old Brian Masina from Elukwatini, near Manzana, has denied that he was involved in the fraud case. He says the state case is none existent.

39-year-old Sydwel Masilela is originally from the Gauteng province, in Soweto. He has a similar pending case he allegedly committed in East London. The East London case is due on the 30th of August.

The East London case against Masilela was committed in 2013. However, he indicates that the state case he is facing here in Mpumalanga is weak, therefore is pleading with the court to release him on bail.

Meanwhile, the third suspect, the 35 years old Moses Khumalo, also from Soweto, claims that he has never been involved in the crime. Khumalo told the court that he works as a supervisor for Swartland investment. He says he has no pending cases.

The three accused also stated that being kept in overcrowded prisons makes them more vulnerable to COVID-19.

The court then rolled over the bail application until the 21st of August for further hearing. However, the state says this is schedule 5 and 6 offense, therefore it will be opposing bail against the three accused.