/ 6 June 2005

Cricket chief arrested in E Cape fraud swoop

The CEO of the Border Cricket Board in East London and a South African National Defence Force major were among 12 people arrested on Monday on fraud charges, Eastern Cape police said.

The arrests are part of a joint anti-corruption operation taking place between Monday and Wednesday in the Eastern Cape, Bloemfontein and Knysna, said police spokesperson Superintendent Mzukisi Fatyela.

He said cricket official Reunert Bauser appeared in the East London Magistrate’s Court on Monday for allegedly defrauding the board by using about R20 000 for personal expenses.

He was released on bail of R2 000 and will reappear in court on July 4.

The defence force official was due to appear in the Mthatha Magistrate’s Court on Monday afternoon. He has allegedly been linked to a driver’s licence scam.

Earlier on Monday, 10 other people were arrested in Ngqamakhwe, Butterworth, Mthatha and East London for claiming child-support grants for non-existent beneficiaries.

The 10 will face charges that they provided false information to qualify for child-support grants, said Fatyela.

More than 30 people are expected to appear in court this week for allegedly defrauding the state of R13-million.

Detectives plan to make arrests in Queenstown, Port Elizabeth, Mthatha and Ventersdorp.

”It involves different types of corruption — some for child support, some for pensions,” Fatyela said.

Those targeted will include people living in subsidised housing to which they are not entitled.

The investigations began earlier this year and involved verifying information with the Department of Home Affairs.

Concern over grant fraud led to the government granting a three-month amnesty period earlier this year for people fraudulently claiming benefits to own up.

None of the people targeted in Monday’s arrests had applied for amnesty, Fatyela said. — Sapa