6 000 Officials Allegedly Defrauded UIF TERS fund, Hawks Arrest 11 Suspects

6 000 Officials Allegedly Defrauded UIF TERS fund, Hawks Arrest 11 Suspects

- Around 6 000 senior departmental officials have allegedly benefited from the UIF TERS fund, which was meant as a temporary relief fund for employees during the pandemic

- This was found by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) of SA, who had been investigating the mishandling of the fund

- According to the SIU, the fraud occurred because of "flawed and weak internal controls"

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The South African Special Investigation Unit (SIU) has found that at least 6 000 senior departmental officials have had alleged involvement in the defrauding of millions of rands from SA's UIF TERS (Temporary Employer Relief Scheme).

According to the findings made by the SIU, the officials involved made a number of fraudulent payments to deceased people, people from foreign countries, people who shared banking details with other people and even people with incorrect ID numbers.

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This large number of fraudulent payments amounted to a whopping total of R57.3 million rand paid out by the UIF to a total of 13 447 006 employees who were linked to 1.5 million companies in 2019.

6000 Officials Allegedly Defrauded UIF Ters, Hawks Arrest 11 Suspects
Unemployed South Africans have suffered the most from Ters defrauding. Image: Nardus Engelbrecht/Gallo Images
Source: Getty Images

During the briefing with the Portfolio Committee, during which the findings made by the SIU were discussed, it was also reported that the 6 000 officials involved in the fraudulent activity had been suspended but were still receiving their full salaries, reports a The South African article.

EWN also reports that the Hawks have arrested 11 people who are involved in individual cases of defrauding the TERS fund.

Briefly.co.za previously reported that the Hawks arrested a 62-year-old man over the weekend for allegedly looting R4.7 million from the Covid-19 Unemployment Insurance Fund TERS scheme. Commenting on the arrest, spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi explained that the man is now facing charges including fraud, theft and money laundering:

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"The pensioner was arrested after he failed to disclose that he became a instant R4.7m millionaire. The money was meant to remunerate employees of a certain company to be disclosed in court papers."

It is understood that the pensioner had worked for the same company the funds had been intended for, with Mulaudzi commenting:

"It is understood the suspect worked for the same company and allegedly used the reference number from his previous employers to apply for his UIF payout. It was later found after numerous inquiries by the company that the money was paid but was redirected to the suspect’s account."

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Source: Briefly News

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