Relatives of alleged RAF quadriplegic conman appear in court

2017-08-23 22:42
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Durban - Three relatives of former policeman Mohamed Ebrahim were arrested and appeared in court on Wednesday.

Ebrahim is facing charges of defrauding the Road Accident Fund R6m after allegedly pretending to be a quadriplegic.

The state alleges his wife Asha, 51, son Junaid, 32, and daughter-in-law Nerosha Nohar, 33, all from Pietermaritzburg, defrauded the fund out of R435 000 through invoices they submitted for payments for "taking care" of him.

Ebrahim has been in custody since his arrest earlier this month.

Since then, at his two court appearances in Durban’s Commercial Crime Court, Ebrahim has walked unaided.

In submissions to Magistrate Judy Naidoo, prosecutor Nolwazi Letsholo said it was the State’s case that Ebrahim had never been involved in a car accident but had been listed as a passenger in an accident his son had been involved in 2002.

She said 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.

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

It was also claimed that Ebrahim had refused to allow investigators from the RAF to examine him.

At his first appearance, Ebrahim was represented by Agzar Khan, the same attorney who handled his RAF claim.

Bail

Khan said the fund had paid out R1.6m and tendered all future medical expenses and associated costs after a three-day high court trial at which up to 20 medical specialists testified.

Ebrahim and his relatives have now engaged a new attorney Devin Moodley, who assured the magistrate on Wednesday that Asha, Junaid and Nerosha Nohar were not flight risks.

He conceded that the investigating officer had not been able to locate them to arrest them on Tuesday evening but said this was because they had been on their way back from Durban where Ebrahim is being kept in custody.

He said they had surrendered themselves this morning.

"They are all without passports, no travel experience and have no means to flee… they have lived in Pietermaritzburg their entire lives," he said.

In their written applications for bail, the three denied committing any crime. They said at the high court trial in which Ebrahim sued the RAF, the issue of liability and quantum were separated.

The liability issue proceeded to a full-blown trial.

During these proceedings, the RAF maintained Ebrahim’s claim was fraudulent and he was not a passenger in the vehicle.

But the Judge found that he was indeed a passenger and that the fund was obliged to compensate him for 100% of his proven damages.

"Unless it is the State’s case that the medical experts, the advocates for both sides, the attorneys and the judge who dealt with the matter were involved in an alleged fraud - which would be met by the highest contempt - the state has no case at all," they said.

Magistrate Naidoo granted them each bail of R5 000 and ordered that they report twice a week to the police.

They will appear in court again on Friday when Ebrahim is expected to apply for bail.

Read more on:    raf  |  durban  |  courts

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