Fund fraud accused appear in Pretoria court

2012-05-21 18:31

Pretoria - Two former employees of the labour department accused of swindling millions from the Compensation Fund appeared in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court on Monday.

The department said the case against Maxwell Ramaphosa and Samuel Mfeleng, both aged 36, was postponed to 17 July.

They face 15 counts of fraud and 26 counts of money laundering.

Magistrate Fikile Ntlati extended their bail of R3 000 each. Both are residents of Soshanguve, in Pretoria.

Ramaphosa and Mfeleng were initially charged with Jurry Sehunoe, a physiotherapist from Rustenburg.

Sehunoe has since pleaded guilty to the charges and his sentencing proceedings will start on 3 July in the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crime Court.

The trials were separated when the matter of Ramaphosa and Mfeleng was transferred to the Pretoria Magistrate's Court.

The former civil servants are accused of siphoning money from the Compensation Fund and channelling it into Sehunoe's bank accounts.

Ramaphosa and Mfeleng would allegedly process "fictitious claims" made by Sehunoe. They would also allegedly process the payments and later share the laundered money, the department said in a statement.

Between February and November 2009, the two former civil servants allegedly made 15 deposits into Sehunoe's account.

Ramaphosa and Mfeleng are also allegedly involved in two other fraud cases.

They are among seven former employees of the department and a doctor accused of defrauding the Compensation Fund of around R1m.

They are also among four people, including another physiotherapist, accused of defrauding the department of about half-a-million rand.

In both these cases the accused are out on warnings.

The trial of Tebogo Ephraim Kealetsa, 36, a Northern Cape doctor alleged to have also defrauded the Compensation Fund, will resume in the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crime Court on Tuesday.

The case was postponed on February 27, after Kealetsa told the court he had managed to secure funds for his lawyers. He had previously stated that he was bankrupt.

Kealetsa, who faces two counts of fraud, is out on R5 000 bail.

He allegedly defrauded the Compensation Fund of about R680 000 by allegedly submitting claims for patients he had never treated.

The Compensation Fund is a public entity of the department of labour whose function is to cover for compensation of workers injured during work or for diseases contracted.