KZN man 'pretended' to be quadriplegic to allegedly defraud RAF

2017-08-16 20:54
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Durban - This week former policeman Mohamed Ebrahim walked unaided into the dock of a Durban court to face charges of defrauding the Road Accident Fund out of R6m by allegedly "pretending" he is a quadriplegic, needing round-the-clock care and wearing nappies.

Just a day before, following his arrest by police from the Durban Commercial Crime Unit, he was given a clean bill of health by a District Surgeon who, in a report handed into court, reported: "... he walked comfortably... unassisted. He was wearing normal underwear. No abnormalities detected."

Ebrahim, who lives in Pietermaritzburg and reportedly once worked at Mountain Rise Police Station, insists that he is seriously ill, the result of a car accident in 2002.

And his attorney - who also handled his Road Accident Fund claim - says he was examined by 20 doctors and specialists at the time who all reported on the extent of his injuries.

Ebrahim appeared before Specialised Commercial Crimes Court Magistrate P Naidoo on Monday. His matter was adjourned for seven days for further "medical" investigations.

According to notes attached to the charge sheet as recorded by the magistrate, public prosecutor Nolwazi Letsholo said the case against Ebrahim was one of fraud involving "actual prejudice" of R6m.

'He was not a passenger' 

She said his RAF claim had been initially lodged by another attorney but had been processed by his attorney in court, Agzar Khan.

This also raised a flag of possible conflict of interest because Ebrahim’s son worked for Khan. Letsholo said Ebrahim had been shot at his house. Later that year his son had been involved in an accident and Ebrahim had been "added as passenger for the claim".

"He was not a passenger. When the claim was lodged it was alleged he was a quadriplegic, paralysed from the neck down. It was said he could not do anything for himself. He was in nappies and had to have four caregivers. All of this was paid for by the RAF.

"He had his house and motor vehicle modified and yet he has a normal driver’s licence and was arrested while driving a car.

"He gambles and uses public toilets. Whenever the RAF wants to check on his condition, it is refused because they are disturbing him," she said.

She also alleged there was information that he was planning to abscond and "the relevant documents were being prepared" at the time of his arrest.

"We need to investigate this… He has signed a power of attorney for all the money in his account to be withdrawn.

"When he went to the district surgeon, he made no mention of his ailments. He just said he was taking morphine and valium."

She said all his doctor's appointments for his RAF claim had been made by himself "which gave him time to prepare himself for the examinations".

"As it stands, the fund is paying for caregivers, wheelchairs, specialised motor vehicles while he is going gambling. The RAF just received another emailed from his attorney saying he requires another wheelchair, yet he does not appear to be disabled."

'Assessed by 20 doctors'

Khan said he had only taken over the handling of the claim in 2010.

"The issues of liability and quantum were separated and the liability trial went on for three days. Substantial evidence was led and Judge (Piet) Koen ruled that the fund was liable."

He said if the RAF was aggrieved, it should have appealed this. "He was assessed by 20 doctors and specialists. 10 from our side and 10 from the fund. The documents are voluminous…

"The claim settled for R1.6m and the RAF gave an undertaking to compensate for future medical expenses. He was compensated… but not to the amount of R6m."

Khan said his client was on chronic medication, had recently had his gall bladder removed, suffered from pancreatitis, hypertension, angina and a cardiac condition, most of it a result of the accident.

He said he was "taken aback" by submissions that his client was planning to abscond.

"He does not have a passport. He does not have substantial amounts of money. He has been living at the same address for 22 years and has been married for 27 years."

Khan said the fund had not approached him for medical testing since 2012. "This case has been over exaggerated."

Ebrahim will appear in court again on Monday for a bail application.

Read more on:    raf  |  durban  |  courts

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