Sassa 11 are back in court
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.