Fund finally pays benefits to family

2011-03-19 11:45

It has taken far too long, but Metal Industries Provident Fund has ­finally released the death benefits owed to a Limpopo family.

Last week a concerned close ­relative of the late Mperekeni ­Mokwena, who complained on ­behalf of the nine beneficiaries, ­delivered the good news to ­Hotline.

An ecstatic Harry Ramalepe, a relative of Mokwena but who is not a beneficiary, said the beneficiaries, including Mokwena’s 61-year-old widow, Motjatji, had received the ­payout, which was deposited into the bank accounts of all the ­beneficiaries.

The other beneficiaries include Mokwena’s eight children.

Said Ramalepe: “I am not at ­liberty to disclose how much was received. But all I can say is that we are grateful to Hotline.

“Our lives were on hold for a very long time and it is a relief that the storm is finally over.”

Mokwena contributed to a provident fund and nominated Motjatji and his eight children, aged between 28 and 37, as beneficiaries.

He died in 2008 and his family has since been fighting a battle with the fund officials over the ­release of the death benefit payout.

Ramalepe said he called the fund on numerous occasions to confirm the status of the application. And whenever he called, the fund’s consultants would always advise him to call back the following week.

“It has been a frustrating ­situation. I just wonder how many people out there are victims to what I believe is maladministration,” said Ramelepe.

“I spent a lot of money on phone calls, faxes and transport. In fact, I got tired of relating the same ­story to different consultants over and over again. I then decided to call Hotline for help.”

Hotline referred the beneficiaries’ complaint to Janet Lee, an employee at the fund, and she referred the matter to her senior officials for investigation. Two weeks later, all nine Mokwena beneficiaries were paid.

The fund, however, refused to give reasons for not ­paying the benefits to the family for more than two years.

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