Pensioner distressed over deductions from Sassa pension

Victim of airtime scam, Rachel Lekgoathi of Mabopane.

A 61-year-old government pension recipient from Mabopane is in distress over unauthorised airtime deductions from her monthly payout.

Rachel Lekgoathi of Lebanon, Mabopane said she started noticing the deductions in April.

A spokesperson for the pension payout agency, SA Social Security Agency (Sassa), Nandi Mosia confirmed the deductions was a scam targeting vulnerable people.

“This month, I went to collect my pension and instead of getting R1 600 I got R1 290, the difference was deducted in multiple amounts of R5. I went to the Sassa office to inquire. I was told it is the deductions for Cell C airtime that I have been buying,” she said.

ALSO READ: Sassa beneficiaries warned of hoax

Lekgothi said she had never used her Sassa card to buy airtime and was not a Cell C subscriber.

“Last month I got R1280, the month before that, R1300, before that it was R1200 and R1200 again the other month. I was showed a long statement of too many R5 that are deducted over and over from my pension,” she said.

Mosia said Lekgoathi’s problem was not an isolated case.

“This appears to be a widespread problem. We urge victims to report to the Sassa offices, each case has to be investigated separately,” Sassa said.

In most cases, Sassa said, the pensioners’ card numbers were used to buy airtime, which was then deducted from the pension.

ALSO READ: Scammed pensioners urged to get food vouchers at Sassa offices

Lekgoathi said she had visited the Sassa offices in Ga-Rankuwa and Pretoria Central but was yet to be reimbursed for the deductions.

She was told to bring an affidavit.

“She has to go to her nearest office and fill up a form for the reversal of the deductions. The number will be blocked from further buying airtime from her card,” said Mosia.

A 54-year-old woman from Ga-Rankuwa, recently told Rekord that monthly deductions of varying amounts had been made against her child’s social grant for airtime credited to an unknown number.

ALSO READ: Sassa fraud warning

“This has never been my cellphone number and I have received no benefit from these airtime deductions,” she said.

“Anyone experiencing similar problems should contact a Sassa office,” Sassa said.


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David Matsena

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