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Government employee guilty of fraud for claiming ‘ghost workers’ UIF cash

A former Labour Department employee was sentenced on4 November 2019 for 15 counts of fraud in Mpumalanga, dating back to 2012.


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A former Labour Department employee was convicted and sentenced on Monday 4 November at the Witbank Regional Court for 15 counts of fraud. 

Thokozani Percy Skosana, 42, was a former employee of the Department of Labour and worked in the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) sector. 

During 2012, now seven years ago, he fraudulently started a company named Simajale Transport and General Dealer. Through this company, he registered ‘ghost employees’ so that he could claim UIF benefits on their behalf, when in fact it was going into his pocket. Some of the 15 counts of fraud include corruption, theft and money laundering.

Fraud: Here’s what it cost the department 

During the period that Skosana pretended to be claiming for his staff, he made a total of R63 033.56, which the department is now without. 

The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) pursued the case after it was reported. Consequently, the statements from the people who were falsely registered to receive UIF benefits were obtained and Skosana was arrested. 

Remembering that the fraud began in 2012, Skosana was in and out of court. Spokesperson for the Mpumalanga Hawks, Captain Dineo Lucy Sekgotodi said: “Nobody could count how many court appearances he has made over the years.” 

The sentence for Skosana 

According to Sekgotodi, Skosana was sentenced to three years in prison and wholly suspended for five years. The Court additionally ordered him to pay the spent money back to the department. 

“It will be suspended if the defendant does not break the law during that specific period, and fulfills the agreement for him to pay back the money on time.

Furthermore, the convict was declared unfit to own a firearm in terms of the firearms control Act,” said Sekgotodi. 

The Provincial Head of the Directorate For Priority Crime Investigation Mpumalanga Major General, Zodwa Mokoena applauded the Investigating and Prosecuting teams for the conviction.

It’s nothing new to the Department of Labour 

In August of 2018, three men by the names of Maxwell Ramaphosa, Samuel Mfeleng, and Kgabo Johanna Methi were found guilty on charges of defrauding the Department of Labour’s Compensation Fund of R476 150.58 as reported by The Citizen

The compensation fund is a public entity under the administration of the Department of Labour. It provides cover to workers injured and/or who contract diseases at work. 

Ramaphosa and Mfeleng were found guilty on ten counts of money laundering and fraud, and Methi was found guilty on three counts of the latter.

The three were accused of colluding with a physiotherapist, Dr Jones Mothemola Modau, by siphoning the compensation fund and channelling the money into Modau’s account and a friend’s driving school account. The money would later be shared.