A woman who was employed by the South African Social Security Agency has been convicted of fraud. The 62-year-old is said to have used fake matric papers to apply for a position at the agency in 2004. A Department of Education official was one of the witnesses who took the stand and told the court that she did not have a matric qualification.
A 62-year-old woman who is a former employee of the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) has been found guilty of fraud by the Middelburg Commercial Crimes Court in Mpumalanga. Alinah Nkonyana worked for the agency for almost 20 years using fraudulent matric credentials and managed to earn more than R4 million during her tenure, according to News24.
However, National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Monica Nyuswa said Nkonyana’s con was revealed after a whistleblower alerted Sassa that Nkonyana did not have matric credentials in 2020.
The department that made the decision to run an audit requiring employees to submit their matric certificates, however, Nkonyana was unable to do so. Following the audit, Nkonyana was let go from her job and subsequently arrested.
Nkonyana started working for Sassa in 2004 and submitted an application for the Senior Administrative Officer position, along with a fake matric certificate, according to The South African. An official from the Department of Education testified at Nkonyana’s trial and stated that she did not finish her matric.
However, she pleaded not guilty to the charges brought against her. Nkonyana will be back in court on 12 November for pre-sentencing submissions.
In other news, it was reported that Scandals that have plagued Jacob Zuma up until his arrest. Jacob Zuma handed himself to the police late last night after he was slapped with an effective 15 months behind bars by the ConCourt. His sentence came after failing to appear at the Zondo Commission of Inquiry. However, he was given five days to toss himself to the police.
Below are some of the main scandals involving Zuma, South Africa’s most divisive president since the end of apartheid in 1994. He was in power from 2009 to 2018.
A few years ago the public protector published a report in 2016 entitled “The State of Capture”. The report indicated how Zuma’s businessman friends, the Gupta brothers, had tried to influence the appointment of Cabinet ministers and were unlawfully awarded state tenders.
Back then in 2018, an inquiry was set up to investigate his ruling tenure. However, Zuma denies wrongdoing and has so far not cooperated. The Guptas, who also deny wrongdoing, left South Africa after Zuma’s ouster.
1990’s Arms Dealings
Zuma is being tried on charges including corruption and fraud relating to an R30 billion (now $2 billion) arms deal from the 1990s when he was deputy president. The charges were set aside in 2009, paving the way for Zuma to run for president, but were reinstated in 2018. He denies wrongdoing.
Zuma fired Gordhan as finance minister and Mcebisi Jonas as deputy finance minister in a midnight reshuffle in March 2017. South African financial markets plummeted, with senior officials in the governing African National Congress (ANC) expressing anger at the lack of consultation.
The Guptas used the top-security Waterkloof air base to fly in 200 guests from India for a family member’s wedding in 2013, sparking a public outcry. The ANC called the landing reckless and a breach of national security.
Nkandla Security Upgrades
Soon after Zuma became president, it emerged that millions of dollars of public money had been spent on upgrades to his sprawling country estate, including a swimming pool that one minister justified as a firefighting resource.
Zuma weathered a no-confidence vote in parliament over the upgrades and paid back more than $500,000 after unsuccessfully trying to argue his case in the constitutional court.