About 241 public servants, mostly in learnership positions, 105 inmates as well as several foreign nationals are being investigated for fraudulently applying and receiving government grants during the COVID-19 lockdown period.

This emerged during Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu’s media briefing in Pretoria on Friday.

Over six million people applied and qualified for COVID-19 special grants following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020.

The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) CEO Busisiwe “Totsie” Memela-Khambula says the social security agency is working closely with law enforcement agencies to retrieve the millions of rand paid to non-qualifying recipients.

“So we are working with the fusion centre, which is looking at all the different categories of fraudulent transactions that happened at the start of the pandemic. This [is] to make sure that due process is continued in terms of making sure that those people are punished. And in terms of the people who received the money we need to get the money back,” adds Memela-Khambula.


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