The arrest was unannounced and the elite crime-busting unit was working with other Sassa officials in nailing the corrupt ones.
The arrests come after an investigation that started in 2012 by Hawks and the South Africa Social Security Agency in the Mpumalanga province.
Fourteen officials were targeted within the agency but Hawks managed to close the net on nine (9).
Hawks spokeswoman Dineo Sekgotodi said more arrests will be made, adding corrupt officials will be stopped by arrests and not only by dismissal.
The arrest took place in five Sassa offices – in Mbombela, Tonga, Kabokweni, Schoemansdal and Mjindi – on Thursday morning (23 Mar).
The agency told 013NEWS that the other arrested officials were already on suspension during the course of the 5-year investigation.
The officials are accused of receiving money for 260 healthy people which made the security agency run on a loss of more than R5.5m in the past years.
Sekgotodi said: “We will continue to investigate more Sassa officials and spread our operation as a way of sending a stern warning to other corrupt officials”.
The agency plans to recover the lost money through the pensions and attaching of the properties belonging to the accused officials, once tried and convicted in court.
“Today’s arrests was a start and there will be more to follow.
“We are investigating all corrupt officials, traffic officers beware,” said Sekgotodi.
“Even corrupt officials in municipalities,” Sekgotodi said.
A case of fraud and corruption has been opened with Tonga police and the suspects will appear before the Tonga Magistrate Court on Friday (24 Mar).
(edited by BM)
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