TERS Fraudsters Ordered To Return Millions

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The Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) was introduced to support workers who lost income during the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the support mechanism was abused by individuals who were not entitled to relief.

 


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The Eastern Cape High Court has granted an order to the National Prosecuting Authority’s Asset Forfeiture Unit (NPA AFU) to recoup at least R35 million from individuals who submitted bogus TERS applications.

Chief Executive Officer of the Eastern Cape Transport Tertiary Co-Operative Limited (ECTTC), Nokuthula Mbebe was found to have made several bogus applications to the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) for TERS benefits.

According to NPA regional spokesperson, Luxolo Tyali, the applications made by the ECTTC were riddled with discrepancies.

He explained that the ECTTC made applications on behalf of its employees as well as on behalf of affiliate taxi co-operatives. A large number of discrepancies were detected in these applications including applications for 22 government employees, 22 deceased individuals and one person who was in jail at the time.

“After further investigation, it was discovered that the information, with regard to the incarcerated person and at least one of the deceased persons, was incorrect”, added Tyali.  

A further 66 applications were made through the ECTTC, which resulted in a payment of some R220 million.

The AFU has been granted three preservation orders freezing 36 different bank accounts that belong to the ECTTC, as well as its affiliate taxi co-operatives. R35 million from these accounts will be reimbursed to the UIF.

 

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