By Staff Reporter
QWAQWA – Six corruption and fraud suspects who include two government officials, were released on bail of R1000 each on Monday, by the Botshabelo Magistrate court.
The accused government official are home affairs’ Khotso Teroso David Mefane (57), and department of health’s and Lehlohonolo Aby Motlaloe (45) They are charged alongside Motsidisi Setlai (51), Mpolai Mabele (35), Matsidiso Molete (59) and Thokozile Maphise (29).
Mefane and Motlaloe, who were arrested on Friday March 24, joined the other four suspects at their appearance on Monday.
This after appearing briefly before the Botshabelo Magistrate’s Court on March 20, 2023 where they were remanded into custody.
The four suspects, working in cahoots, with government officials from home affairs and health, visited home affairs offices in Botshabelo on March 17 for late registration of two children aged five and 15.
According to Hawks spokesperson Christopher Singo, the recruited woman would identify children and negotiate with their parents to give consent in exchange for a monetary reward when they agreed.
“She would take the children to a home affairs official who would then register them. The children would later be registered for SASSA grants and they (suspects) would share the money.”
He said two of the four suspects aged 35 and 51, respectively, were arrested by the Botshabelo local police for illegal adoption and fraud.
“It is alleged that two females, a Lesotho national and a South African went to Botshabelo Home Affairs for late registration applications for two children, aged five and 15. An official from Home Affairs who was assisting them became suspicious and immediately notified the police.”
He said the matter was referred to the Hawks’ Serious Organized Crime Investigation office in Bloemfontein for further investigation. Two other suspects aged 29 and 59, believed to be the parents of the children in question were also arrested on Saturday, 18 March 2023.
The Hawks are expecting to make more arrests.