Monday, 15 March 2021

Memel: Three suspects, Gugu Precious Magudulela (41); Lindiwe Gladys Thango (51) and Thabane Blessing Mbhele (46) from Newcastle, appeared at the Vrede Magistrate court on the charge of fraud on Friday; the 12 March 2021.

They were arrested by Newcastle police on the 03 March 2021after it emerged that they were targeting pensioners during pension payouts at various post offices and home, pretending to be SASSA officials or people selling traditional medicine (muthi) to pensioners.

It is alleged that on the 03 March 2021 during the pension payouts, the trio left Newcastle in KwaZulu-Natal Province with a hired motor vehicle to Memel in Free State and went to a local post office but could not find any pensioners. They then proceeded to Zamani Township where they engaged in a door to door campaign looking for their potential targets.

The trio apparently got to a house where they found a granny and her daughter aged 40. They asked the granny to give them her pension card and identity document so as to register her for food parcels.

Then they swapped her original card with another unknown card without her noticing and went to Memel town where they withdrew all the money in the card and shared amongst themselves.

Information and description of the suspects was issued to Newcastle police who pounced on the trio and seized the SASSA card of the pensioner.