Four Eastern Cape businessmen have been arrested for allegedly defrauding the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) of more than R2 million.
Vusumzi Rapiya, Aubrey Gqezengele, Mzamo and Noxolo Pono were directors of A & V Holdings and SUV & Spokie Trading.
The four men are accused of colluding with a Sassa project manager on an office improvement project in KwaNobule, situated on the outskirts of Kariega in the Eastern Cape.
They appeared at the East London Specialised Commercial Crime Court on charges of fraud and corruption on Friday.
They were granted R1,000 bail each and the case is set to resume on 6 December.
The arrests follow an intensive investigation by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) together with the Hawks.
Investigations revealed the four men invoiced Sassa and were paid despite no work being done. More arrests are expected in this investigation and other related Sassa matters.
Two of the men have signed an acknowledgement of debt (AoD) with the SIU, and have committed to pay back the money which was fraudulently claimed and received.
The SIU said signing the AoD was not a substitute or immunity from criminal prosecution.
The SIU was directed by President Cyril Ramaphosa to investigate allegations of corruption, malpractice, and maladministration at the social security agency, which includes any unauthorised, irregular or fruitless and wasteful expenditure.
The investigative body is working closely with the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and Hawks to ensure that all role players identified through SIU investigations in the alleged crimes at Sassa are held accountable.
Other investigations include probing Sassa’s fleet, fuel card, asset and contract management in the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo.