NATIONAL NEWS - Munshi Muhammad (41) who runs a supermarket and a hardware store at Mokwakwaila shopping complex, in Bolobedu, Limpopo appeared before the local district court on Wednesday. He was remanded in police custody pending further investigation.
Spokesperson for the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation popularly known as the Hawks, Sampo Maaboyi, said that Muhammad’s arrest followed an intelligence driven operation.
“We received information that the suspect approached a post office official in Mokwakwaila village and requested him to provide 250 SASSA cards in exchange for a R10 000 gratification,” said Maaboyi.
He said that an undercover operation was conducted on the same day and Muhammad was arrested after he allegedly offered money to a post office investigator. An amount of R10 000 and 250 Sassa cards were seized.
The accused was due to re-appear before the Bolobedu District court at the time of going to press. Meanwhile, the MEC for Social Development, Nkakareng Rakgoale, has welcomed the arrest of the man for attempting to defraud Sassa. the South African Social Security Agency in Mokwakwaila in the Bolobedu area.
“The arrest of this suspect by the Hawks is an indication that government is determined to clamp down on those people who are making it their business to defraud SASSA and beneficiaries of social grants. The grants are mainly intended to bring relief to people who are vulnerable, not a scheme of unscrupulous people who do not have the interests of our people at heart,” said Rakgoale.
Rakgole said the arrest serves as a warning to those loan sharks and business owners who are withholding SASSA cards of beneficiaries and are at times stealing their money by charging them exorbitant fees as interests after they loaned money and as well as buying groceries on credit.
“I commend government officials who immediately alerted the police after they noticed the suspicious behaviour by the suspect. We will be following the case closely to ensure that a conviction is secured,” said Rakgoale.