Sassa 11 are back in court

Zululand Observer - Weekender - - ZO NEWS - Or­rin Singh

THE case against 11 lo­cal of­fi­cials and their con­nec­tions ac­cused of de­fraud­ing the South African So­cial Se­cu­rity Agency (SASSA) of ap­prox­i­mately R34- mil­lion, has been post­poned to 22 Fe­bru­ary 2019.

Gabriel Ndlovu (56), Mfaniseni Ng­cobo (40), Nto­beko Mlaba (51), Balungile Mkhize-Mdlet­she (38), Jen­nifer Gumede (47), Lin­dani Nya­wose (40), Beatrice Shandu (48), Zoleka Dzanibe (42), Hlaka­niphile Behngu (49), Lindiwe Ngema (56) and Mi­nah Dludla ap­peared in the Em­pan­geni Mag­is­trate’s Court on Mon­day.

They are fac­ing charges of cor­rup­tion and fraud af­ter an in­ves­ti­ga­tion by the Hawks re­vealed that they were al­legedly in­volved in swin­dling mil­lions from SASSA be­tween 2005 and 2008.

Ndlovu, Ng­cobo and Gumede fur­ther face mur­der charges.

The three are be­lieved to have in­ten­tion­ally con­spired to mur­der Them­binkosi Dlamini (37), a SASSA Ng­welezana Branch Man­ager who started an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into al­leged fraud and cor­rup­tion.

He was as­sas­si­nated when a group of armed men charged into his of­fice and shot and killed him in June 2008.

In pro­vid­ing rea­son­ing for the lengthy post­pone­ment, Se­nior State Ad­vo­cate Ncedile Dun­ywa in­formed Mag­is­trate Bonokuhle Mthembu that the ac­cused would need to sort out their le­gal rep­re­sen­ta­tion.

‘The ac­cused need to in­form coun­cil as to whether they will re­quire rep­re­sen­ta­tion at a high court level when the case goes to trial,’ Dun­ywa said.

He fur­ther in­formed the court that in­ves­ti­ga­tions by the state into the mat­ter had been fi­nalised.

Mag­is­trate Mthembu ex­tended the bail for each of the ac­cused.

In July the ZO re­ported that those ac­cused of a sched­ule 5 of­fence (cor­rup­tion and fraud) were granted R5 000 bail each, while the three sched­ule 6 ac­cused (mur­der) were granted bail of R10 000 each.

Mean­while pro­vin­cial Hawks spokesper­son, Cap­tain Sim­phiwe Mh­longo, said they were still on the hunt for three more sus­pects who are linked to the case.

‘We are work­ing to­gether with crime in­tel­li­gence to try and lo­cate where these sus­pects may be,’ he said.

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