Not long ago, a scandal surfaced concerning a town councillor apprehended for running a dodgy loan shark business. He was seized due to illegal possession of the SASSA cards of beneficiaries and withdrawal of their money. Through the card, the vulnerable and helpless are able to collect their funds. Hence this act sparked outrage among citizens and raised distrust towards the authorities.
Furthermore, this act also raised people’s skepticism about the effectiveness and working of the SASSA system, which is also not saved from the activity of corruption, dishonesty, and mismanagement of funds. They are meant to be a symbol of trust. But several reports of fraud and dishonesty in funds have led people to think otherwise. For more information, keep on reading.
Councillor Arrested For Withdrawing Money From SASSA Cards
A councillor is meant to aid and represent communities but instead takes advantage of the weak ones and provides them with loans. He abuses his authority to take their SASSA cards and illegally withdraw money from them. Just imagine how many people were scammed and deprived of their benefits.
A Symbol Of Trust
Town Councillor Jason Mdudumani, an ANC (African National Congress) representative in Beaufort West, was arrested for allegedly consuming money from SASSA grant cards. These cards for the less privileged became a source of exploitation for higher representatives. Last week, he was seized by the police with identity documents and SASSA cards at a local ATM.
These cards are reported to belong to those who had taken a loan from him, and some of those cards also belong to the SASSA beneficiaries. He abused his power to get hold of SASSA recipients’ cards and hence was able to withdraw money from the card without their authorization. Brian Jooste, an activist, remarked that Mdudumani’s arrest was” no surprise” as he was known by local ANC associative as “mashonisa” (loan shark).
He provided illegal loans to the recipients and held onto their cards until they were able to pay back the loan. Hence he was able to scam people out of their SASSA cash. Eric Ntabazalila a representative of NPA (National Prosecuting Authority) stated that Mdudumani is charged with “violating the National Credit Act for being in possession of cards” that were not owned by him. Whereby he is caring out the credit agreement despite not being the financial service provider.
The ANC party is willing to cooperate with the police, and according to ANC regional secretary Collin Meyer,”The ANC does not condone any act of criminality”. They will put the councillor to justice according to their own party’s internal procedure regarding the matter of his misconduct and corrupt behaviour.
The ANC party also appeals to the organization and community members to let the law take its course. The party’s director of communication Sifiso Mtsweni stated that after receiving the details surrounding this case. They would contemplate it. He further stated,” Our policies are very clear”. “Anyone who gets arrested for any serious crime will have to step down from his position”.
Whereas the opposite party EFF (Economic Freedom Fighters) regional secretary Eveline Louw denounces the corrupt actions of Mdudumani and requests his removal from his position.
Justice Prevailed Or Not?
Mdudumani was taken into custody by the police on Tuesday 4th, April 2023. And he was scheduled to appear before the court on Thursday after his illegal withdrawal of money from SASSA card. But he was released from custody on R500 bail. His case was put off till May so that the state could conduct a thorough investigation.
This raised many questions about the fairness of the law, and people were disappointed with the result. According to some sources, this act is quite discouraging as some people will keep delaying their trial even after committing the crime. And justice will fail to be served. Even the bail system is under criticism.
The arrest of the councillor shed light on how deeply corruption is involved in every governmental affair. Agencies like SASSA are created to provide comfort to the less privileged ones to ensure their basic needs. But if they are entangled with corruption, how could they comfort their citizens?
Therefore, criminals like councillor must be convicted of their crimes so that citizens can feel a sense of security. Steps must be taken to prevent the occurrence of similar incidents in the near future. Corruption must be eradicated from all levels of society.