Older Persons Grant recipients face fraud charges

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Two Older Persons Grant recipients are facing charges of perjury, fraud, theft and contravention of the Social Assistance Act for allegedly fraudulently receiving grants when they did not qualify.

Sarathamoney Sigamoney (66) and Salamina Khoza (68) were arraigned at the Pretoria North Magistrates' Court on Wednesday for allegedly defrauding the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) of a combined R275 000.

According to the National Prosecuting Authority Investigating Directorate (NPA ID) spokesperson, Sindisiwe Seboka, the two did not qualify, as they had received at least R140 million in SA Police Service tenders.

“On 13 April 2017, Sigamoney applied to SASSA, stating that she has never worked for a period of 20 years. The application was approved, and she is alleged to have received money from SASSA.

“Although she is listed as the director of KJP Traders Pty and Matthew Pillay (her son), KJP is alleged to have conducted business with the State as early as 2012, preceding her application to SASSA. Furthermore, the company is estimated to have cashed in over R80 million from the… contract,” Seboka said.

In the case brought against Khoza, it is alleged the elderly woman applied for the grant in September 2014, which was approved at least a week later on the basis that she was only eking out a living by selling perishable goods.

“At the time… she was already the sole director of three companies registered on the central supplier database (CSD) of the National Treasury. [The] three companies are recipients of various amounts of money that were paid to them by the SAPS because they had tendered with the police services. Between 01 September 2014 and 31 August 2022, she is accused of having received R152 125 from SASSA, while allegedly receiving over R60 million from her three companies.

“Khoza did not have any authority to transact on the accounts held by her companies. Mr Kishene Chetty was the sole signatory on the accounts. Khoza was fronting for Kishene Chetty, who was the beneficial owner of the three companies,” Seboka said.

Sigamoney was granted R5 000 bail and is expected back in court on 10 February, while Khoza’s case is expected back in court on March 23 for pre-trial. – SAnews.gov.za

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