Fraud-accused physio 'loses his mind'

2012-03-02 22:14
Pretoria - A Rustenburg physiotherapist facing fraud charges for allegedly siphoning money from the Compensation Fund has "lost his mind", the Pretoria Specialised Crime Court heard on Friday.

Jones Mothemola Modau, 31, together with former civil servants Maxwell Ramaphosa, Samuel Mfeleng and Kgabo Methi, face three counts of fraud and 14 cases of money laundering involving close to R500 000.

Modau's lawyer Keitumetsi Mogale said her client had been ready to tender a guilty plea to the court, but she requested a postponement due to his state of mind.

"Unfortunately, this morning I noticed during my interaction with my client that he was not in his mind. While going through a plea explanation, I realised that he was missing out on certain aspects of the case."

She said Modau seemed to forget, and she had to repeatedly explain to him certain parts of his plea document. She told the court her client was taking medication, following hospitalisation in February due to "a form of phosphate poisoning".

Mogale suspected the medication may have led to Modau's state.

The lawyer has advised Modau to visit a psychologist in the coming week.

Magistrate Dawie Jacobs postponed the matter to March 19.

The State and lawyers representing the other accused have indicated to the court their intentions to proceed with the trial.

The Compensation Fund is a public entity run by the labour department. Its duty is to cover the payment of employees who are injured or fall ill from diseases contracted at work.

The fund also covers death as a result of these injuries or diseases.

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