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UIF: SIU still probing matters relating to suspension of top officials

UIF spokesperson Makhosini Buthelezi on Wednesday told Eyewitness News that the SIU had indicated that it could release its report on the investigation at the Department of Employment and Labour later this month.

Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) commissioner Teboho Maruping. Picture: @UIFBenefits/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) on Wednesday said that the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) was still looking into issues that led to the suspension of the entity’s top executives in September.

UIF commissioner Teboho Maruping was suspended, along with the fund’s CFO, COO, and head of supply chain management, after the Auditor-General (AG) flagged a number of issues during the audit of the multi-billion rand COVID-19 Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (Ters).

ALSO READ: Makwetu says COVID-19 corruption probe revealed 'frightening findings'

UIF spokesperson Makhosini Buthelezi told Eyewitness News that the SIU had indicated that it could release its report on the investigation at the Department of Employment and Labour later this month.

The executives are being probed after the AG’s report showed that there were numerous gaps, risks, and inadequate controls as well as verification processes for the scheme which was set up to cushion workers and businesses from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although the scheme was initially set up with a R40 billion budget, the amount increased substantially as demand grew.

However, the UIF faced a mammoth task of setting up payment and verification systems as some employers looked to cash in on the relief.

ALSO READ: CoJ employees who defrauded UIF, Sassa could face criminal charges

That saw payments effected to dead people and pensioners. In some of the most bizarre cases, the payments raised concerns about the security measures employed to ensure that only eligible people were paid.

In the meantime, the suspended executives had not been charged with any discrepancies as the SIU continued its work.

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