Physio ordered to pay back dept

2012-07-03 21:02
Gavel (<a href=>Shuttertstock</a>)

Gavel (Shuttertstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Pretoria - A physiotherapist who was part of a scheme which swindled the labour department of more than R2m has to refund the money.

The Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crimes Court ordered Rustenburg physio Jerry Sehunoe, 34, to reimburse R2.1m to the department's Compensation Fund.

In October, the practitioner pleaded guilty to 28 counts of money laundering and 15 cases of fraud.

He was initially charged together with former labour department employees Maxwell Ramaphosa and Samuel Mfeleng.

After Sehunoe's guilty plea, the trial was separated, leaving Ramaphosa and Mfeleng to plead their innocence in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court.


The Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) approached the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court and requested to halt an earlier sentencing of Sehunoe before it conducted an inquiry into his assets.

Boitumelo Moalusi, for the AFU, told the court that following the inquiry, the full amount from the ill-gotten assets by Sehunoe was "recoverable".

The State has apparently recovered more than R800 000 from Sehunoe - part of which has been paid to the SA Revenue Service and the auditors who conducted the inquiry.

There was debate in court on whether it would be fair for Sehunoe to be solely liable for paying back the State, or whether parts of the criminal proceeds should be recovered from Ramaphosa and Mfeleng.

Magistrate Nika Setshogoe ruled Sehunoe was liable to pay back the full amount, as a beneficiary from proceeds of crime and in light of the principle of acting in common purpose.

In addition, Setshogoe said Sehunoe would be liable to pay a daily interest fixed at 15.5% from the date of judgment (Tuesday) until 14 days from when the confiscation order was being carried out.

She said the two people (Ramaphosa and Mfeleng) who Sehunoe claimed received the money into their accounts were not in court.


His claims "would remain allegations" at this stage.

In his guilty plea affidavit, Sehunoe told the court he worked in collaboration with Ramaphosa and Mfeleng and had deposited large sums of money into the pair's bank accounts.

"They took advantage of my vulnerability and enticed me with cash. I did not want to be part of the scheme, but later took part of the money and used it for personal consumption," he said.

Regular payments were made into Sehunoe's three FNB accounts between February and December 2009.

He said he would subsequently transfer some of the laundered money into the accounts of the other two. Mfeleng's share would be deposited into his Gladiator Driving School account.

At the time, Sehunoe said he had spent R539 352 of the money and was willing to pay it back.

According to court papers, several fictitious claims were made to the Compensation Fund "at inflated prices beyond the applicable rates".

Sehunoe was arrested in May 2010. He is out on R3 000 bail.

The matter will be back in court on August 28, for the submission of pre-sentencing reports by social workers and officials from the correctional services department.

Ramaphosa and Mfeleng are also fighting to prove their innocence in two other alleged fraud cases.

The Compensation Fund is a public entity under the administration of the department of labour. Its function is to recompense workers who get injured or contract diseases at work.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    mahikeng
NEXT ON NEWS24X 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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

Scots beat Samoa, end Japan's dream
Woodcock's career ended by injury
Major Payne as Ireland lose star centre
As it happened: Samoa 33 Scotland 36
Traffic Alerts

The phrase for today is:”Out of the blue.” Expect the unexpected and work with the changeable energy. Your intuition is more

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


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 network.


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.