After suspensions lifted, two UIF executives now face disciplinary hearings

The SIU was commissioned to look into irregular payments made during the processing of the temporary employer-employee relief scheme funds (TERS).

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

JOHANNESBURG - Two Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) executives are facing disciplinary hearings following the conclusion of some parts of a Special Investigating Unit (SIU) probe.

The SIU was commissioned to look into irregular payments made during the processing of the temporary employer-employee relief scheme funds (TERS).

Earlier, the labour and employment department’s director general Thobile Lamati told Eyewitness News that the officials’ suspension, which dated back nine months ago, had been lifted.

Lamati said UIF commissioner Teboho Maruping would not be able to return to his post just yet when he returned to work next week.

“We then had to call him back to say he must report for duty, but he will be reporting to the office until the disciplinary process is finalised. Coming back, he will be presented with his charges.”

Meanwhile, chief financial officer Fezeka Puzi - whose suspension was also lifted - has already been charged and is awaiting the start of her disciplinary hearing.

Lamati said chief operations officer Judith Kumbi is the only official who has been cleared of any wrongdoing by the SIU and has since returned to work.

At the onset of the COVID-19 economic devastation, the government through the UIF rolled out TERS social benefits, however, the Auditor-General found that there were numerous gaps, risks and inadequate verification processes.

This resulted in illegal payments to non-qualifying persons including students, recipients of state grants and public servants which were investigated by the SIU.

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