Another suspect arrested in R3.2 million Covid-19 relief fund saga

Another suspect arrested in R3.2 million Covid-19 relief fund saga

- The Hawks have swooped in on yet another suspect in the case relating to Covid-19 social relief fund fraud

- R3.2 million was allegedly looted from the fund established to help limit the impact of the pandemic on both businesses and workers

- A record suspect, aged 75, was taken into custody on Wednesday by Hawks' Serious Corruption Investigation members

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The Hawks' Serious Corruption Investigation team has swooped in to arrest a second suspect in connection with Covid-19 social relief fund fraud.

In a statement issued by the South African Police Service on Friday, it was confirmed that a 75-year-old had been taken into custody in the Giyani area earlier this week:

"Members of the Hawks received a tip-off that the suspect withdrew over R150 000-00 from the account of Mtititi Drop-in Centre company in order to conceal it from the ongoing investigations."

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The Hawks have arrested a second suspect for relief fund fraud. Image: SAPS/ Supplied
Source: UGC

The name of the first suspect was also revealed, with the statement noting that the same team had made both arrests:

"The Director of the company Hlamalani Dorris Mashimbye (47) was arrested by the same team on 9 October 2020 for allegedly claiming COVID-19 social relief funds from the UIF on behalf of her former Extended Public Works Program (EPWP) workers."

The investigation found that the employee's contracts had been terminated before the Covid-19 lockdown was announced in South Africa:

"Our investigations revealed that the workers contract was terminated before the country was placed on lockdown. Mashimbye has since appeared in the Malamulele Magistrate’s Court on Monday and remanded in custody until 19 October 2020 for formal bail application."

Police spokesperson Captain Matimba Maluleke confirmed that the second suspect would be appearing in court on Friday, commenting that:

"The suspect will appear in the Malamulele Magistrates’ Court on Friday, 16 October 2020 to face fraud charges. The investigations are still continuing."

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Earlier, reported that the South African Police Force had announced that a 47-year-old has been arrested for allegedly defrauding the Covid-19 UIF Social Relief Fund.

The woman was taken into custody by the Hawks with the SAPS commenting that:

"A 47-year-old director of a company in Malamulele has been arrested today for allegedly defrauding the Covid-19 UIF Social Relief Funds over R3 million on behalf of her former Malamulele Extended Public Works Program (EPWP) workers."

Citizens have applauded the authorities for clamping down during this difficult time. Take a look at just a few reactions from Mzansi citizens from social media below:

Nosandiso Solomon: "We really thank God for exposing greedy people. I pray than more of these cruel people to be exposed. Well done Hawks, may God protect you and your loved ones."
Muzi Ngwenya: "Well done Hawks. When are the Hawks going to arrest ministers who also defrauded government Covid-19 funds?"

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Dr Mark Ousborne De Villiers: "How I wish I was into politics, I would loot millions and leave this country."
Tshepo Tshabalala: "At this rate, I am even scared to wear my Nike sneakers I bought last week. I might be next."

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