COVID-19: Pensioner paid R4.7m mistakenly from Covid-19 relief fund

COVID-19: Pensioner paid R4.7m mistakenly from Covid-19 relief fund

A pensioner has reportedly been paid R4.7 million by the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) as Covid-19 relief. 

The Sowetan reported that the 65-year-old Hammanskraal based pensioner, a retired bus driver, was paid the funds which were supposed to be paid to 1,000 of his former co-workers at Unitrans.

The publication reported that UIF could not explain how the R4.7 million was paid to the pensioner on 25 April instead of it being paid to the company.

The bus company the retiree worked for had enquired to UIF about its application for Covid-19 relief when it was learned that the payment had been made to the 65-year-old.

At the time, the pensioner had already spent about R100,000 of the R4.7 million.

UIF spokesperson, Makhosonke Buthelezi reportedly would not say how the money was recovered and would not explain why a case was not opened.

Buthelezi told The Sowetan that the Covid-19 relief fund will be paid to the bus company once an investigation has been concluded.

This is the second such case where relief funds meant for workers were paid into individuals’ accounts.

The Sunday Times reported at the weekend that the Asset Forfeiture Unit froze 28 accounts after R5.6m meant for 200 employees was deposited in a bank account of one man, Tshepang Phohole, who allegedly immediately moved it to accounts of several of his associates.

Buthelezi said the matter was under investigation. He also refused to say how did the UIF systems allow a transaction involving such an amount to be deposited into an individual’s bank account.

Buthelezi said the alleged error would be determined upon the completion of the investigation onto the matter. He refused to say how they were going to recover the money that had already been spent.

Sources: The Sowetan, The Citizen


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