Warrant for fraud accused medic

2012-09-25 19:56

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Pretoria - A warrant of arrest was issued for a physiotherapist who failed to appear in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court on Tuesday.

Mahikeng-based practitioner Abel Diokana did not arrive at the court and Magistrate Mariette Louw issued a warrant for the "immediate tracing" of his whereabouts.

Diokana's lawyer told the court his client had received a call from a sick niece, who had been admitted to a hospital in Mahikeng, in the North West.

The doctor faces charges of fraud and money laundering along with former civil servants Maxwell Ramaphosa, Samuel Mfeleng, Kgabo Methi, Debbie Venter, Tendani Mukomafhedzi and Billy Ramskin.

The six former employees of the labour department's Compensation Fund allegedly worked as a syndicate.

It was believed they recruited Diokana, and siphoned money through his bank account.

Earlier this year, the long-running case was postponed because Mukomafhedzi's lawyer did not arrive for court.

On Tuesday, labour department spokesperson Page Boikanyo said the matter had been "characterised by numerous postponements [due to the] accused not having legal representatives, and lawyers failing to show up at court".

Ramaphosa and Mfeleng were also involved in two other criminal cases related to the alleged defrauding of the labour department.

In the first case, they were accused of swindling R2.1m from the department. They were out on bail of R3 000 each.

In the second case, they were among four men, including another physiotherapist, accused of siphoning almost R500 000 from the department. In this matter, they had been released on a warning.

The Compensation Fund is a public entity under the authority of the labour department. The fund provides a cushion for workers injured during work or for diseases contracted at work.

Read more on:    mahikeng

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