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Earning millions from police tenders wasn’t enough for two Gauteng pensioners — they were also collecting old-age grants

Earning millions from police tenders wasn’t enough for two Gauteng pensioners — they were also collecting old-age grants
(Illustrative image | Sources: Adobe Stock | SAPS logo)

Two senior citizens who were given tender contracts with the South African Police Service valued at more than R140m are also charged with defrauding Sassa for having illegally claimed old-age benefits.

Two pensioners, Sarathamoney Sigamoney (66) and Salamina Khoza (68), made a brief appearance on Wednesday in the Pretoria North Magistrates’ Court on charges of defrauding the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa). 

Sigamoney was arrested on Wednesday morning while Khoza was summoned to appear in court, having been arrested previously on similar charges.

The two suspects face charges of perjury, fraud, theft and contravening the Social Assistance Act for receiving the grant for indigent elderly people while serving as the sole directors of businesses that were awarded tenders worth millions, according to Investigating Directorate spokesperson Sindisiwe Seboka.

When they applied for the old-age grant, they failed to declare that they were sole directors of businesses, or that they had contracts with the SAPS worth more than R140-million, Seboka explained.

Sigamoney is accused of having defrauded Sassa of more than R123,000, and Khoza, more than R152,ooo. Khoza applied for an old-age grant on 14 September 2014, while Sigamoney did the same on 13 April 2017.

On 24 September 2014, Sassa informed Khoza that her application for the grant had been approved. Between 1 September 2014 and 31 August 2022, Sassa paid her a total of R152,000.

Sigamoney was informed on 18 April 2017 by Sassa that her application for an old-age grant had been approved. She received payments amounting to R123,193 between 1 April 2017 and 31 August 2022.

Outlining the charges against the accused, Seboka said: “On 13 April 2017, Sigamoney applied to Sassa, stating that she has never worked for a period of 20 years. The application was approved… 

“Prior to submitting her application to the Department of Social Development in Gauteng, Sigamoney submitted a similar application in Kwazulu-Natal and her application was denied.”

Sigamoney is named as the director of KJP Traders (Pty) Ltd. Her son, Matthew, is alleged to have done business with the state as early as 2012, prior to her application to Sassa.

Furthermore, according to Seboka, the company earned almost R80-million from a SAPS furniture contract.

Khoza submitted an affidavit in support of her application for an old-age grant. In it, she said she had no source of income and survived by selling achaar which brought in about R400 a month. She said she was receiving assistance from her brother(s).

Khoza neglected to mention that she was the director of three companies: Isasalethu Construction and Officer Consumables (Pty) Ltd, Sifikile Furniture and Projects (Pty) Ltd, and Siyanqoba Trading and Projects (Pty) Ltd.

“According to the Police Financial Systems… the three companies are recipients of various amounts that were paid to them by the SAPS because they had tendered with the police services.

Apart from the R152,125 paid to her by Sassa over a period of eight years, Khoza also allegedly received “over R60-million from her three companies”.

Khoza’s alleged fraud goes deeper. According to Seboka, she did not have any authority to transact on the accounts held by her companies.

Khoza and businessman Kishene Chetty are among 15 people accused of corruption around the acquisition of personal protective equipment for the SAPS worth about R1.9-million.

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Former police supply chain manager, James Ramanjalum, is also among those charged with having unlawfully benefited from the supply of latex gloves to the South African Police Service.

Along with his father, Krishna, Chetty is accused of benefiting from the proceeds of corrupt police contracts. The Chettys are accused of having run an alleged family racket since at least 2016, involving more than 30 companies, 25 police officers and about 25 civilian associates.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Scam used Khoza to hide Chetty’s hands in the businesses but the directorate found the Chettys to be beneficial owners

The case against Sigamoney was postponed to 10 February 2023 and she was granted R5,000 bail. She was ordered to hand in her travel documents and not apply for new ones.

The case against Salamina Khoza has been postponed to 23 March 2023 for pre-trial purposes. DM

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Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Joe Irwin says:

    Question: When is enough, enough.
    Answer: Never.

    • Coenie Harley says:

      For these criminals….. Yes.
      For the most of us who want to build this country for a better future…. We are thankful for getting a honest income for the effort we put in.

  • jcdville stormers says:

    Jacob Zuma,no 1 turned our country in no 1 corrupt country

  • Patrick O'Shea says:

    Two words you don’t hear any more: selflessness, patriotism.

  • Johan Buys says:

    Prediction Engine says these two are proxy directors not owners. This is exactly why we need to change our laws such that the beneficial ownership of companies is a matter of public record. The data exists for the company’s banking FICA. FICA is supposed to trace through to the warm bodies. So the beneficiaries of a trust that owns shares in a company that owns shares in a company – must be there. If not for all companies, then it should be required for any company dealing with any form of the state. You don’t get the benefits of limited liability and cry about privacy!!!!

  • Chris 123 says:

    Please tell me minimum 15 years.

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