Pretoria fraud trial postponed

2013-05-14 17:57

Johannesburg - The fraud trial of two former employees of the labour department's Compensation Fund was postponed in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court on Tuesday.

Labour spokesperson Page Boikanyo said the State would continue its case on 22 May.

Maxwell Ramaphosa and Samuel Mfeleng, both 36, are accused of processing and facilitating fraudulent claims submitted by physiotherapist Jurry Sehunoe.

Sehunoe pleaded guilty to 15 counts of fraud and 26 of money-laundering.

He received a five-year suspended jail sentence in the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in February.

Ramaphosa and Mfeleng had allegedly defrauded the fund of R2.1m.

Boikanyo said on Tuesday a State witness testified that he allowed Ramaphosa to use the account of his co-owned driving school business for money laundering.

Rodney Ntshuleneni Vele said he was promised his business would grow exponentially.

"Vele told the court that he was approached by Ramaphosa, who told him that he had huge sums of money which he needed to deposit and these required a business account," Boikanyo said.

Vele said he agreed to Ramaphosa's request in good faith because he grew up with him and trusted him.

He was arrested in connection with the matter, but was later released due to lack of evidence.

Vele testified that he was introduced to Sehunoe by Ramaphosa during a meeting in the Pretoria central business district.

Money from fraudulent claims, ranging between R15 000 and R80 000, used to be deposited by Sehunoe into Vele's driving school's account.

It would later be withdrawn and shared.

"For his efforts in allowing laundered money to be deposited into his business account, Vele used to be rewarded with amounts averaging about R3 000 for every deposit made," Boikanyo said.

Vele said this arrangement started in 2008 and continued until 2010 when Ramaphosa was arrested.

Ramaphosa and Mfeleng are out on bail of R3 000.

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