The 3268 public servants who stole social grants must be dismissed and criminally charged

Issued by Dr Mimmy Gondwe MP – DA Shadow Deputy Minister for Public Service and Administration
25 Apr 2022 in News

Please find an attached soundbite by Dr Mimmy Gondwe MP 

The DA will play an active role in ensuring the dismissal and laying of criminal charges against the 3268 public servants who were found to have fraudulently received and benefited from social grants that they were not entitled to receive.

This follows the revelation made by the Minister of Social Development, Lindiwe Zulu (Minister Zulu), in response to a DA Parliamentary question that 3268 public servants fraudulently received and benefitted from a social grant they were not entitled to receive. This came to light following a verification process conducted on only 66 480 social grants out of the 165 297 social grants that were found to have been received by public servants.

To this end, the DA submitted written Parliamentary questions to Minister Zulu and the Acting Minister of Public Service and Administration, Thulas Nxesi, requesting, amongst other things, that they furnish the DA with the names and other details of the 3268 public servants who were found to have received and benefitted from social grants they were not entitled to receive. As soon as the DA is furnished with these details, we will proceed to lay corruption and criminal charges against each of the implicated public servants.

While Minister Zulu admitted in her response that R12,6 million had been recovered from the implicated 3268 public servants after they concluded acknowledgements of debt with SASSA, including the fact that they would face disciplinary action, she makes no mention of whether the implicated 3268 public servants would be subsequently dismissed and face criminal action.

In fact, it is not clear from Minister Zulu’s response whether the said disciplinary processes against the implicated public servants have commenced. Even if this were the case, the DA remains highly sceptical that such disciplinary cases will be finalised on time considering the existing backlog of disciplinary cases in the public service.

Were it not for the unrelenting efforts of the DA which exposed this scandal, it remains unclear if the government would even have picked up on this fraud or theft. The DA’s timely intervention saw the suspension of 165 297 grant payments in September last year, the commencement of a review or verification process to determine eligibility and the recovery millions back from implicated public servants.

Even though the DA welcomes the recovery of these millions, it takes the view that further action is required to ensure that the implicated public servants are criminally charged and permanently removed from the public service. Failure to enforce consequence management on this glaring abuse of taxpayer money, will only serve to entrench and perpetuate a culture of corruption in the public service.