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MANZINI - The Social Welfare and Master of the High Court Offices have been broken into, where a central processing unit (CPU) containing important documents was stolen.

The total amount of loss incurred from the break-in is estimated to be around E12 000 at the Manzini Master of the High Court Offices, while the Social Welfare Office could not provide figures as investigations were not concluded at the time of compiling this report. Worth noting is that both government offices are crucial, as the Master of the High Court Offices are responsible for serving the public in respect of deceased’s estates, liquidations, registration of trusts, as well as administration of the Guardian Fund (minors and mentally challenged persons).


The Social Welfare system offers assistance to individuals and families in need. Lesser known parts of a Social Welfare system include disaster relief and educational assistance. Meanwhile, the CPU was stolen at the Master of the High Court Offices. Documents were found scattered around the place and tampered with at both government offices. This led to employees arriving to a messy office at around 8am yesterday. It is suspected that the break-in happened over the weekend when the government employees were away from work.
When this publication arrived at the government offices, some employees were found waiting outside the Social Welfare Offices while police officers were conducting investigations.


A source shared that they arrived at work only to be met with the front door lock broken and its chain cut off. There were also broken windows. Some cupboards and cabinets were found left wide open, with some documents tampered with. Food was also found to have been eaten and leftovers were found littered around some tables. The source believed that the unknown people could have done this when they broke into the office. Meanwhile, staff members at the Master of the High Court Offices were also found assembled outside as officers of the law were investigating the crime scene. The same method was used to gain entry into the building, as the unknown people broke the lock. Computers and many documents were found upside down.

The Deputy Prime Minister’s Office Communications Officer, Mihla Khumalo, confirmed the break-in. Khumalo said the amount of loss could not be ascertained. This is not the first time the Social Welfare Office has been broken into. Late last year, the office was broken into and unknown people stole a computer and ate the food that was found inside. Previously, the office was also burnt. This happens at a time  when the office does not have security features such as CCTV cameras and security guards. Chief Police Information and Communications Officer Superintendent Phindile Vilakati confirmed the break-in in both government offices. Vilakati said a loss valued at about E12 000 was incurred at the Master of the High Court Offices, while they were still gathering how much was lost at the Social Welfare Office.  

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