Nine netted for RAF scam

2011-11-25 00:00

NINE suspects — eight from Northdale and one from Chatsworth, Durban — have been arrested for lodging fraudulent accident claims with the Road Accident Fund (RAF) amounting to R92 million.

Also implicated in the investigation is an Msunduzi Democratic Alliance councillor.

The Northdale eight — Rosalind Govender ( 41), Sunmugan Archery (37), Rooksudna Mahomed (52), Menisuree Ranjitu (37), Leean Reddy (33), Vinasua Buckus ( 39), Sajid Khan (32) and Rehana Buckus (41) — were arrested by the Durban’s commercial crimes unit on Wednesday.

Khan surrendered to the police after hearing that he was wanted.

They appeared in Durban’s commercial crimes court the same day and were each granted R3 000 bail.

They will appear again on February 7.

Percy Kali (47) of Chatsworth was arrested on Sunday, appeared in the same court on Monday and was released on R15 000 bail. He is believed to be linked to the Northdale group.

Provincial police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Vincent Mdunge alleged that the group had been submitting fraudulent claims to the fund since 2006.

He said the Pietermaritzburg group, who are all related, have allegedly netted R14 million from the fund while Kali has allegedly gained about R4,8 million.

“The fraudulent claims filed with the RAF by the group amounts to R92 million, excluding the amounts they have already received … RAF forensic investigators became suspicious with the sheer number and the exorbitant claims that had been received from certain claimants. The dockets were referred to the commercial crimes unit for investigation.”

Kali allegedly operated as a tout who enticed people to lodge up to 1 395 false claims against the fund.

In one of their claims to the fund, Mdunge alleged, the Pietermaritzburg relatives attested that they had been travelling in a minibus taxi that was involved in an accident in Gumtree Road.

Mdunge said investigations revealed that none of them was involved in that accident.

Allegedly also implicated in the scam are doctors, lawyers and employees of the RAF.

“These people would recruit community members to make false statements to the police claiming to have been involved in accidents. They would also bribe doctors and lawyers to give legitimacy to their documents,” he said.

The Witness has learnt that a warrant of arrest has been issued for a local DA councillor.

When contacted for comment the councillor said: “I have not been served with any papers. This is just grasping on straws and a political ploy to tarnish my name.”

KZN Transport MEC Willies Mchunu said it is unfortunate that people abuse a fund established to compensate those affected by accidents or lost their loved ones.

• chris.ndaliso@witness.co.za

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