Two suspects who were allegedly caught with 495 SASSA grant cards appeared in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

The suspects, Nhlanhla Robinson Mthethwa and Dumisani Eric Buthelezi, were arrested by the police last week.

Natasha Ramkisson-Kara, NPA spokesperson said they faced charges of possession of suspected stolen property and corruption. She said “The matter was remanded to October 29 for a formal bail application.”

Police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele said police officers from Alexandra Road SAPS and Pietermaritzburg K9 Unit were conducting their duties when they spotted a bakkie with two occupants.

He said “They followed the vehicle and intercepted it on the N3 near Ashburton. A search was conducted and police seized 495 SASSA cards and 84 bankcards from the occupants. They could not provide police with an explanation for having these cards in their possession and were immediately arrested.

Mbele also said “Police also seized a licensed firearm with 19 rounds of ammunition from the driver and his bakkie was also seized for further investigation”.

She said the men, aged 44 and 51, will be charged for fraud and possession of suspected stolen property.

The Acting Provincial Commissioner, Major General Thulani Gony praised police officers for their alertness.

He said it has resulted in saving millions of rand which could be used to help the poor and the needy.

Hawks spokesperson Captain Simphiwe Mhlongo said about 30 000 mandrax tablets were seized.

Zolile Zikalala, 40, and Katlego Phahlane, 24, are expected to appear again this week in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court for a possible bail application.