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By Enkosi Selane

Digital Journalist

Prayer session held at Sassa office after staff traumatised by ‘rituals’

Workers at the Sassa Mkhondo office returned to their offices on Monday after massive prayer session.

The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) offices in eMkhondo (formerly Piet-Retief), Mpumalanga, have been reopened after being closed for just over two weeks.

The closure of the offices followed investigations of rituals caught on camera after workers at the regional office complained about finding needles scattered on the floor almost daily.

The footage allegedly showed two Sassa officials and three unknown men, believed to be traditional healers, in the office after hours.

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This prompted the temporary closure of the Mkhondo office, with employees having to use an alternative working venue in the Mkhondo community hall.

‘Massive prayer session’

Mpumalanga MEC for Social Development Lindiwe Ntshalintshali has since held a “massive” prayer session at the Sassa Mkhondo office. The area’s church leaders and faith based organisations attended the session.

Sassa Mpumalanga spokesperson Senzeni Ngubeni told The Citizen that everything went “back to normal” on Monday after the prayer session.

“Fumigation and deep cleaning of the offices was conducted. As from Monday services have been restored back in the office.

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“The communities around, which are serviced by the Piet-Retief office, have been informed. The offices are opened and operational, back to normal,” said Ngubeni.

While the spokesperson did not confirm if any action was taken against the two Sassa officials, he said the matter was still under investigation.

“It’s a process matter which must go through its phase.”

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Prior to the prayer session, the Minister of Social Development Lindiwe Zulu said while they understood the employees’ concerns, the department could not afford to have Sassa services disrupted.

“This is how we do. Never be afraid to confront challenges, connect to the people,” Zulu said in an Instagram post.

Additionally, the agency is offering free counselling services to employees through a wellness programme.

“Affected officials are encouraged to make use of those services, if they still need further counselling,” said Ngubeni.

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