The Asset Seizure Unit should widen its scope just after fraudulent transactions with the payment of Covid-19-TERS benefits through the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF), the DA said on Sunday.
The Asset Seizure Unit, meanwhile, obtained a custody order in the Pretoria High Court for about R3.2 million in the bank accounts. A total of 28 bank accounts were also temporarily frozen.
Police are investigating the incident, but the UIF has yet to explain exactly how the money ended up in Phohole’s account.
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said earlier that the money was fraudulently or, alternatively, incorrectly paid into the account.
Dr. Michael Cardo, DA spokesman on labor and employment, said the incident was probably just the hippopotamus.
“Since the introduction of the TERS benefit at the beginning of the seclusion period, hundreds of employers have reported that their TERS benefits have been paid into the wrong accounts. Many were informed by the UIF that the money was paid, only for them to find out the money never ended up in the specified bank account, ”Cardo said.
The Minister of Labor, Thulas Nxesi, said last week that the UIF had appointed a team of auditors to monitor the money trail and determine whether employers pay the workers the TERS benefits fairly.
“The minister is quick to point the finger at employers and accuse them of paying only part of the money to workers, as well as using the money for something other than its original purpose.
“However, it is inconceivable that the fraud and money laundering of R6 million without the active or tacit cooperation of UIF officials who could control the payment of TERS benefits,” Cardo said.