Crime/28 July 2023,06:23am/Staff Writer
By Staff Writer: A pastor from the Free State and three employees of the Tseseng post office in QwaQwa, who are also members of his congregation, are currently under investigation for their alleged involvement in the unlawful transfer of funds amounting to R8 million from the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) to a church’s bank account. The transfers are said to have taken place between January 2020 and February 2022.
While no arrests have been made thus far, authorities are actively looking into the matter. According to Colonel Zweli Mohobeleli, spokesperson for the Free State Hawks, the focus of the investigation has shifted towards four vehicles belonging to two of the individuals, as well as the funds in their respective bank accounts. These assets have become subjects of forfeiture proceedings in court.
On July 20, a forfeiture order was issued, declaring the vehicles and funds to be proceeds of criminal activity and thus subject to confiscation. Major General Mokgadi Bokaba, head of the Free State Hawks, expressed approval of the forfeiture order, stating, “It is unacceptable for anyone to flaunt a luxurious lifestyle funded by ill-gotten gains.”
The alleged misappropriation of SASSA funds raises concerns about the proper management and distribution of social security resources meant to support vulnerable individuals and families in need. The investigation aims to uncover the full extent of the alleged wrongdoing and ensure that those responsible are held accountable for their actions.
Considering the involvement of a pastor and members of his congregation, this case carries additional weight as it touches upon matters of trust, integrity, and communal responsibility. The allegations, if proven true, would not only reflect a breach of ethical conduct but also undermine the public’s faith in religious institutions and their leaders.