Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi has welcomed the weekend arrests of suspects, who are accused of being part of the enterprise that scammed R5.7 million from the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF).
The money was meant as relief for workers during the lockdown.
The suspects are expected to appear in court today. They were arrested by the South African Police Service's Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, known as the Hawks.
"We welcome the swift action by the members of the law enforcement agencies in apprehending the people, who are suspected of having defrauded their employer and the UIF when they allegedly changed the banking details into which the relief money was supposed to be paid.
"As we have indicated before, we will follow every cent that we have spent during this period. Working together with our internal auditors, the office of the Auditor-General and our contracted forensic auditors, as well as the law enforcement agencies, we are putting those who thought that the UIF was their source for easy money on notice. You will be found and you will be prosecuted," Nxesi said.
The National Prosecuting Authority's Asset Forfeiture Unit had already frozen the funds after it applied for an order from the High Court.