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Family goes on shopping spree after UIF mistakenly paid R5.7million to a wrong account  Tshepang Phohole received a R5.7 million payout from the UIF which was supposed to go to 1 400 workers. Instead, he and his family allegedly defrauded the state and went on a massive spending spree. The UIF payment was originally meant to go to CSG Resources, a labour brokerage company, but instead, the funds landed up in Phohole’s account.

Family goes on shopping spree after UIF mistakenly paid R5.7million to a wrong account

Phohole who works as a packer at a paint company became an instant millionaire.Family goes on shopping spree after UIF mistakenly paid R5.7million to a wrong account

Thobile Lamati, the directory-general of the labour department informed parliament’s standing committee on public accounts on Friday that Phohole create a new profile as an employer using CSG’s UIF number and entered his own banking details into the system

“When the company tried to access the system, they were blocked. They then requested a new password and were given access. They uploaded their employees, but overlooked [the changed banking details],” he said.

“In the process of resetting the password, there could be collusion between some of our officials who are responsible for this, or the employee accessed the company profile with the express intent to defraud the fund,” he said.

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Hawks spokesperson Col Katlego Mogale has revealed that the investigation is not complete and no arrests have been made.

When the Sunday Times visited Phohole’s house this week, Mojela said her son was out and would be back soon. He did not return.

Mojela said he had kept her in the dark about his windfall.

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“I had no idea that my boy had this money. He has not been working so he was here looking after me because I am sick,” she said.

“I don’t know how he got this money maybe it was just a mistake, but he needs to tell me what is going on.”

When she learnt that R4.2m of his windfall was allegedly funnelled to her husband, daughter and son-in-law – and that her family was the focal point of a criminal investigation – she became physically ill.

The botched payment to Phohole, and a R4.7m payment to a retired bus driver, have put the focus on UIF systems.

On the day that the money was paid into Phohole’s account, he transferred the money into a number of different accounts according to court documents.

R1-million to his father Godfrey Mojela, R980 000 to his sister Itumeleng Masoko, R2.3-million to his brother-in-law Tebogo Masoko and R1.25-million to Taetso Zulu. The following 2 weeks saw the money being exchanged between the accounts. This was an attempt to cover up the source of the funds and confuse investigators.

Itumeleng Masoko spent R25,200 on tombstones for her late aunt and grandmother, the papers show.

Khutsane Tombstones owner Andre Steenkamp said Masoko visited his office to pick out the headstones and paid in full from her cellphone while sitting with his sales manager.

“Days later the bank notified me that the money had been set aside because of suspected fraud and she was very upset when I spoke to her,” he said.

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Sunday Times

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