A KwaZulu-Natal doctor has been arrested for allegedly processing fraudulent disability grants over a three-year period. He had allegedly been on the run for two years before his arrest on Friday.
According to Hawks spokesperson Captain Simphiwe Mhlongo, the arrest comes as part of a clampdown on a network that was allegedly facilitating fraudulent South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) claims by approving disabilities the beneficiaries did not have.
The 51-year-old is one of two doctors accused of confirming disabilities the beneficiaries did not have, in order for them to claim a disability grant.
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It is alleged the doctors were paid for this after the applications had been approved, Mhlongo said.
The second doctor is accused of processing fraudulent disability grants between 2005 and 2008, in Ngwelezane.
He is expected to appear in the Durban Specialised Commercial Crimes Court on Monday.
Arrests two years ago, murder case
Mhlongo said the first doctor was arrested in 2018, along with six other people – a number of them Sassa officials. They were accused of conspiring to defraud Sassa of about R25 million.
It was at this time that the second doctor went on the run, before his arrest this week.
Of the seven arrests in 2018, three were also linked to and eventually charged with murder for their alleged role in a hit taken out on a Sassa employee tasked with investigating the case.
Thembinkosi Dlamini, 36, was shot dead in his office only six days after he started the internal investigation in June 2008, said Mhlongo.
At that time, six people had been arrested in connection with the murder.
They were later convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment in 2013 by the Mtunzini High Court.