Doctor sentenced

2015-07-15 06:00

FRAUDSTER Dr Patrick Badirwang Mokhua (40) from Hartswater was sentenced to four years imprisonment suspended for four years on Monday (13/07) for defrauding the Department of Labour’s Compensation Fund.

Delivering the sentence, Magistrate Martin van Wyk said the sentence would be applicable on condition that the accused was not convicted of any offence where disho-nesty was an element during the period of suspension.

Furthermore, the court sentenced Mokhua to three years correctional supervision – during which the accused would be subjected to house arrest for the full duration of the sentence; would not leave his residential address or place of employment without permission of the correctional services officer – except for emergency situations; would perform unpaid community service of 576 hours to be determined by the commissioner; the accused would refrain from the use of alcohol and use of drugs; and the accused would submit himself to all reasonable programmes/treatment that the commissioner might prescribe.

Mokhua is also expected to repay the R688 859,74 plus interest. He is also expected to report at least once a month to the Correctional Offices at the Kgosi Mampuru Reintegration Offices in Pretoria.

Van Wyk told the court that the interests of society needed to be protected. He cautioned Mokhua that being a first-time offender “does not insulate one from serving time in prison”.

In his mitigation ahead of the sentencing, Mokhua pleaded with the court that he had four kids, his mother who was a pensioner, his wife who was still studying and an unemployed brother, who were all depen-dent on him.

Prosecutor Aphiwe Kutshwa had earlier appealed for a tougher sentence. Kutshwa said: “Mokhua’s offence is motivated by greed. He could feed his family without resorting to crime.”

In 2013 he was also found guilty by the Professional Conduct Committee of the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) in Pretoria for gross misconduct after allegedly receiving “illegal” payments from the Department of Labour’s Compensation Fund.

Mokhua was suspended for five years from running a private practice, but spared to work only in public hospitals

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