SASSA fraud disability grant

Photo: Nompendulo Ngubane

SASSA fraud: Arrests made after doctor busts ‘disability grant’ scam

The fraudulent scheme was uncovered when a trio of crooks raised suspicions in a Port Elizabeth SASSA office – and police are already on the case.

SASSA fraud disability grant

Photo: Nompendulo Ngubane

Although SASSA can be the architects of their own downfall sometimes, they remain blameless on this occasion: Two Port Elizabeth residents were arrested last week and charged for fraud and possession of suspected stolen property (medication) after a doctor discovered that they were fraudulently applying for disability social grants.

Disability grant scam rumbled by Port Elizabeth doctor

A trio in their fifties attempted to defraud an office in Zwide. When they appeared at the facility, to make their dishonest claim, the doctor on duty became suspicious of them. While questioning the suspects, one of them physically ran away.

Naturally, this raised further questions. It transpired that the medications within the applicants’ possession may have been purchased illegally. Following this bizarre exchange, two of the accused were arrested and released on bail.

SASSA defrauded by fraudulent claims

A third suspect is to be ‘arrested imminently’. and another court date has been set down for mid-April. As SAPS confirmed in a statement released earlier, the suspected vendor of the illicitly acquired drugs is also on their raider.

“It is alleged that on 20 January 2021, Nowhle Ngcelwane (55) and Andile Andries Heshu (54), and one other female (56) were at the SASSA office in Koyana Street in Zwide to make an application for the grant. As per the procedure, the doctor on duty must conduct a thorough interview with all applicants as well as examine their medication.”

“The doctor became suspicious during the interviews and informed the disability grant co-ordinator of his suspicion. While still probing them, one female applicant ran away. Police were contacted and the two remaining suspects were arrested. Ms. Ngcelwane and the other female were together while Heshu was on his own.”

“It is further alleged that the medicines are obtained at a cost from a person in Zwide. Ngcelwane and Heshu appeared in the New Brighton Magistrate’s Court on Friday, 22 January 2021, and each were released on R500 bail. Their next court appearance is on 13 April 2021. The arrest of the third suspect. and the person who sold the medicine, is imminent.”

SAPS statement