Doctor signs death note without seeing body

2012-01-11 10:16

Johannesburg - An East London doctor has admitted to signing former ANC branch chairperson Zolani Xego’s death certificate without seeing his body, the Dispatch online reported on Wednesday.

Xego and his now estranged second wife Vuyelwa Hlehliso-Xego face a charge of fraud after Xego allegedly faked his own death in 2007 to claim R3.5m in life insurance policies.

On the first day of the trial in the East London Regional Court on Tuesday, Dr Pieter Bothma said he had trusted Xego's family and had signed the certificate.

Xego reportedly took out two policies with Discovery Life - one for R1.8m in December 2005 and another for R1.7m in January 2006.

In August 2007, he allegedly faked his own death. His wife at the time, Hlehliso-Xego, was listed as the beneficiary of the policies.

When the policies did not pay out in time, the pair allegedly took legal action to force Discovery to pay up.

Bothma admitted in court that he had completed a death certificate indicating that Xego had died from natural causes on August 1 2007.

Bothma said a woman and a man claiming to be Xego’s brother had visited his surgery and told him that Xego - a long-time patient of his - had died of an aneurysm.

"I trusted the family when they told me Xego was deceased. They gave an accurate account of death. I thought they must have witnessed it."

Discovery questioned the claim on the grounds that Xego had failed to disclose material medical information.

The couple was arrested in August 2008.

  • Blade - 2012-01-11 10:29

    Pretty dumb of you Doc...

      Foc - 2012-01-11 11:57

      I wonder what the good Doctor's "consulting fee" was ... My guess is about 10%??

      rianadk - 2012-01-11 13:26

      @ Sithando, what the hell are you one about?

      Sharon - 2012-01-11 17:52

      With insurance fraud becoming a huge problem one has to ask the simple question: Is this an isolated event, or is it in fact common practice??

  • Sphiwe - 2012-01-11 10:33

    What people will do for Money...Damnit and the scheme blows up in their faces!

      George - 2012-01-11 11:12

      Give the doc a back hand, on the back of his dumb head

      Foc - 2012-01-11 12:05

      George I think the doctor ALREADY got a back-hand .... of about 10%

  • paulmandlankosi - 2012-01-11 10:33

    Dr Pieter Bothma, you are the dumbest doctor on earth

  • Herbert - 2012-01-11 10:46

    Now there's a man "so na my hart" !!!! I can give him a bunch of names in parliament and government if he would please sign their death certificates for the nation!

  • Leon - 2012-01-11 10:49

    The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated. - Mark Twain

  • Snoopsy - 2012-01-11 10:51

    Lekker dom ne?

  • Leon - 2012-01-11 10:56

    why did discovery take this mans money if he didnt give all the documentation? it only became a problem when they had to pay out, wtf?

  • Deon - 2012-01-11 10:57

    Discovery has a great fraud unit rather not take them on, even with your income.

  • nasheenar - 2012-01-11 11:01

    He trusted the exactly did he become a Dr?

      paulmandlankosi - 2012-01-11 11:28

      Through affirmative action

  • motsoka - 2012-01-11 11:08

    Dumb dumb dumb dumb

      Robsschele - 2012-01-11 15:10

      Dumb, dumber, dumbest. It now really proves that you don't have to be clever to become a med. doctor.

  • Napolita - 2012-01-11 11:18

    The misjudgement of the doctor and the faking of death aside; what seems to be missed by many in this story is the role of Discovery Life. I can't help to wonder how many people have these "life policies" valid while they are alive only to be found invalid when they die. But then again the name is Discovery LIFE not Discovery DEATH...;)

  • wynandjsmit - 2012-01-11 11:28

    In spite of the fraud, keep the following in mind: Discovery is the worst Medical Aid (ask me, I am the doctor, and and they always find a reason NOT to pay). If they do not pay when you are ill, how can one expect them to pay when you are dead??? Obviously in this case the guy was not dead, but think about it!

      solverman - 2012-01-11 11:40

      Yip... but it is the same company, paulmandlankosi, you have to jump through fire to get Discovery to pay... sometimes its not worth claiming... brilliant business model they have

      celeste.rsa - 2012-01-11 13:24

      I've never had a problem with Discovery, but I certainly have with the other medical aids I've been on. People need to check their plans before complaining - what you get is what you've paid for. If you want to pay the minimum, expect the minimum benefits in return.

  • Simamkele Nolonwabo Twala - 2012-01-11 12:07

    corruption! Corruption! Things we do for money! Faking your own death?? On the other hand the dr is confirming something that he cannot even prove!! Its obvious he gives out medication without checking his patients no wonder most people are addicted to drugs and they call themselves proffesionals! Please

  • Mphotent - 2012-01-11 12:18

    This in my view appears to be gross negligence, the doctor in question should be subjected to Health Professions Council of SA and judicial cour of law for serious misconduct. You cant tell me that a man of his caliber and dexterity opened himself to manipulation of those less informed than him in his area of speciality unless otherwise he had interests. Yooh! amazing!

  • coert.welman - 2012-01-11 12:27

    Trust is good, check is better. Even more so when it involves a high-ranking ANC member.

  • Sylvester Mohloli - 2012-01-11 12:34

    wtf? Fake your own death and then let ur ghost sue an insurance company for not paying out?LMAO..Darwin has a new candidate

      Barefoot - 2012-01-11 19:14

      Darwin award i dont think so, go to their website now and see how the awards are given

  • Petronella - 2012-01-11 12:43

    Die dokter is nou soos 'n haan op 'n warm plaat. Hy gaan homself moeg verduidelik net om op die ou end skuld te beken.

  • Tulani - 2012-01-11 12:56

    dumb dumber dumbest lol.....

  • callet.gababuse - 2012-01-11 12:57

    money is the root of all evil

  • ttrevenen - 2012-01-11 14:18

    One has to wonder how many other death certificates this Doctor has signed where he has not examined the body. Maybe the SAPS whould be investigating him. Is the SA Medical & Dental Assoc going to investigate him as well... surely what he did was not only highly irregular but illegal as well?

  • mashavha - 2012-01-11 15:19

    too much movies shoo

  • Denny - 2012-01-11 16:22

    Yes, the Doc made a mistake but it was only to trust someone. (Unless he was getting kickbacks somehow in which case send him to jail). I find it quite unusual that he is getting more vitriol directed at him than towards Xego and co. Insurance fraud in this country is *massive* from overstated claims to pure fiction like this one. Honest Joe getting screwed once again as he funds it all.

  • Frank - 2012-01-11 18:15

    As a member of the ANC the Doc assumed he must be dead. Give that man a Bells

  • Gavin - 2012-01-11 18:37

    Does anyone have the doctor's number, I have some work for him...!!! What a chop...Moron...!!!

  • Robi - 2012-01-11 18:55

    Only in SA doctors can betray their oath

      Barefoot - 2012-01-11 19:11

      not only in s.a dont forget the recent case of Michael Jackson's doctor

  • Siyabonga - 2012-01-11 20:52

    Lol, these insurance companies are making more than 100% profit yearly. There is no recession on their side. So the man got tired of getting rich only when he is dead, he wanted the money alive! Money! Money! Money! I am sorry for this poor Doctor the law is gonna be very harsh on him. I am under the impression that he was gonna get a cut from the deal. Again maybe he was a "Messiah" and now these crooks have ruined his career, and that is one of the professions RSA lacks. Sorry Pieter, your mercy has taken you to hell.

  • TaniaSandraSteyn - 2012-01-11 22:53

    To play Devil's Advocate here: my Dad died of natural causes in Botswana - had to be autopsied, transported more than 500km's in Botswana, driven to JNB, then flown to Port Elizabeth. He did not believe in policies of any kind and all his accounts were frozen. The costs were astronomical. We approached three funeral homes - two which wanted to charge us over R20 000 - the Third overlooked some of the technicalities and were prepared to use the original paperwork. Be careful how you judge - this Doctor trusted the family. They are ones who committed the ultimate betrayal.

  • Bloubul Jonck - 2012-01-12 03:27

    Eish hier kan ek nou geld maak

  • Gail - 2012-01-12 11:48

    Medical Aid fraud is rife and it doesn't surprise me that it is Discovery that is involved here. I know people who are boarded and currently working abroad despite being too ill to work here and who live at specialists when they are here. It totally infuriates me because most of my life I have paid my own way and even though I am now on a Medical Aid I rarely visit a GP. I have visits left over at the end of each year which do not get carried forward but Discovery wouldn't cover my chronic meds. insurance fraud has been around since before 1994. Our electricity blew during Decmber when we were away back in the 80's and when I phoned the insurers, the first thing they asked was whether I still had the rotted food from freezer and fridge. Since garbage day hadn't come around yet I did but I warned them they were placing their own health at risk and the guy told me they had to do it as so many people submit claims for freezer loads of food/meat and then if they inspect the bags they find grass mowing in the bags. This doc should be investigated because if he can do something like this then what's to stop him from botching other things.

  • Andries - 2012-01-12 18:37

    Jirre Piet jy is 'n stupid onetiese dokter..... hoekom doen jy dit?

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