ACCUSED: Neliswa Msimang, alleged mastermind.
Three people linked to a Sassa fraud syndicate made an appearance in the Bellville Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

Two of the accused, both from the Western Cape, were released on bail of R1 000 each, while the third suspect did not apply for bail.

Nombuyiselo Sigcau from Mthata is up on multiple fraud charges, and will return to court on 7 July to bring a formal bail application.

Sigcau, who is one of 17 people arrested by the Hawks last week, looked shabby and out of place as she stood in the dock. She held her head down and appeared to be praying throughout the proceedings.

Her co-accused, Ntsikilelo Mphendukana and Nosipho Majola, both from the Western Cape, also face various fraud charges.

Their bail comes with several conditions, including going to their nearest police station weekly to check in, and handing over all travel documents.

On Friday May 17, the Hawks arrested eight Sassa officials and nine civilians in connection with defrauding the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) of more than R2.3 million involving more than 400 social grants.

The Sassa officials were all released on bail last week Monday, while the alleged mastermind behind the syndicate, a Cape Town woman called Neliswa Msimang, was remanded in custody.

The arrests comes after a long and intensive investigation by Sassa’s Fraud Management and Compliance department (FMCD).