South African government suspends senior officials after AG audit

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South African Employment and Labor Minister Thulas Nxesi on Wednesday said Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) commissioner Teboho Maruping, along with senior management of the fund have been suspended.

“These moves allow for the Special Investigating Unit to conclude its forensic investigation completely unfettered,” Nxesi said.

This comes after the Auditor-General (AG) Kimi Makwetu said there is a risk of fraud, double dipping, payment to ineligible beneficiaries, underpayments, overpayments and invalid rejections in money paid to mitigate the effects of COVID-19.

Nxesi said there were inadequate controls and verification processes.

“We have requested the national treasury to deploy technical resources to the UIF to urgently implement the recommendations of the AG and to develop systems solutions to identified gaps and risks. I assure you that I will not rest until every payment is accounted for, and every wrong doer made to account,” he said.

There have been allegations of abuse of the funds earmarked to mitigate against the COVID-19. In August, President Cyril Ramaphosa instructed the AG to inspect the payment of UIF.

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