The Minister of Employment and Labour, Thulas Nxesi, announced the suspension after Auditor-General's audit of the Covid-19 TERS fund.
The Minister of Employment and Labour, Thulas Nxesi, on Wednesday suspended the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) Commissioner Teboho Maruping. The decision followed a recent Auditor-General (AG) probe into fraud related to the Covid-19 temporary employee/employer relief scheme (TERS), which was created to provide much-needed relief to employees, who have been laid off work or unable to earn an income due to the pandemic.
“We have now received the AG’s audit report, which points to numerous gaps, risks and inadequate controls and verification processes. This has resulted in illegal payments, amongst others, to recipients of other state grants, students receiving NSFAS payments, public servants, and even inmates, deceased persons and minors. There is also evidence of overpayments (and underpayments) as well as inflated claims. I take these breaches very seriously,” said the Minister in a statement, adding that the AG had recommended that the UIF and the Department collaborate with other state organs and law enforcement to investigate every illegal action and risk identified.
“In the light of this, and because this occurred on his watch, this morning, I suspended the UIF Commissioner...The Director-General for the Department of Employment and Labour has suspended the UIF management, the CFO, COO and head of supply chain. These moves allow the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) to conclude its forensic investigations completely unfettered,” the Minister said.