Compensation claims were 'suspicious'

2012-07-23 17:47
Pretoria - Numerous claims submitted to the Compensation Fund by a Northern Cape doctor were suspicious, the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crimes Court heard on Monday.

A former forensic investigator at the labour department, Tshepo Wilfred Sexwale, testified that he and another investigator, Jabu Zwane, travelled from Pretoria to the Northern Cape to verify Ephraim Tebogo Kaeletsa's submissions.

Kaeletsa worked as a general practitioner from his surgery in Pampierstad, Hartswater.

"When one observed the claims, you would see there was something suspicious about them. When we asked Kaeletsa to give us his records of the patients he said he did not have any records," Sexwale said.

"As investigators, we had looked at the nature of the injuries [for the supposed patient] and the dates of the payments. It was in a short space of time.

"The geographical location was also suspicious. There were workers who were based in KwaZulu-Natal, but were supposedly treated by Dr Kaeletsa in the Northern Cape," said Sexwale.

Kaeletsa allegedly submitted false claim forms to the Compensation Fund for patients he had never seen or treated.

The fund is a public entity, under the labour department, whose function is to provide compensation for people injured at work, or who fall ill because of their work.

The doctor was arrested in August 2010, and charged with defrauding the fund out of almost R700 000.

Sexwale said that during the February 2010 visit to Kaeletsa's surgery, the investigators asked him to accompany them to the nearest police station to make an affidavit.

"He said there was something he wanted to tell us. He said it was in relation with the payments he had received from the Compensation Fund. He told us that he had seen that the matter was serious and wanted to tell the truth," Sexwale said.

Sexwale told the court that while they were at the Pampierstad police station, Kaeletsa confessed.

"Dr Kaeletsa said he submitted the false claims with assistance from an employee of the fund. He then gave us the name of the official as Kabelo Senne," Sexwale testified.

Kaeletsa's lawyer, Simon Molele, said his client was threatened into writing an incriminating statement.

"He was going to write a statement, saying he had not treated the people you were inquiring about. Then Zwane switched on his laptop and started dictating to him what to write in the affidavit," said Molele.

"Zwane told Kaeletsa that they could not have driven from Pretoria for nothing. He told him [Kaeletsa] that he would be detained if he refused to write the statement as Zwane wanted," the lawyer said.

The State called another witness, Heather-Lee Merington, a risk consultant at the Compensation Fund.

She said the fund had deposited money into Kaeletsa's Standard Bank account.

Prosecutor Margaret Thulare said she would call more witnesses when the matter resumed on 8 October.

Magistrate Dawie Jacobs extended Kaeletsa's R5 000 bail.

Read more on:    kimberley
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/News
Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The moon moves into your sign today emphasising your brilliant fast paced and innovative mind. Nervous tension can be a problem if...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.