Single company owner defrauded TERS of R100m

By Babalo Ndenze for EWN

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) said one company owner used over 1 000 ID numbers to defraud the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF)’s temporary employment relief scheme (TERS) of over R100-million.

The SIU on Wednesday told Parliament’s finance watchdog Scopa that the UIF was the victim of fraud by companies and state employees.

SIU chief forensic investigator Johnny le Roux said a certain Mr Simbini, a private individual and sole director of a company called Impossible Services, submitted over 6,000 TERS claims for non-existent employees.

“According to the records, the only registered employee of Impossible Services was Simbini himself. There was, therefore, no other registered employees for Impossible Services that TERS money could be claimed for. The money was paid into the bank account of Impossible Services and at that stage, R110 million was preserved.”

Le Roux said phase one of the investigation focused on state employees who received a TERS benefit during COVID-19.

He said at least 6 000 employees were identified within 24 government departments with the assistance of the Department of Public Service and Administration.

The Eastern Cape had over 500 cases: “In the Eastern Cape, you would notice that there were at least 501 matters in eleven departments amounting to R106-million.”

The SIU said a number of officials had been charged and disciplined, while millions of rands had recovered.

 

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