Eastern Cape lawyer accused of defrauding health dept of R30m, granted bail

2019-02-15 22:30

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An Eastern Cape lawyer, who is accused of defrauding the Department of Health to the tune of R30m through the submission of false negligence claims on behalf of mothers, has been released on R80 000 bail.

Serious commercial crime investigators at the Hawks in Mthatha arrested the lawyer, Zuko Nonxuba, at a local hotel on Wednesday and the Mthatha Magistrate's Court granted him bail on Friday.

Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi explained the allegations: "It is alleged that in 2013 and 2016, Nonxuba claimed exorbitant funds on behalf of supposed mothers, claiming that they gave birth to children who suffered severe injuries due to apparent negligence by hospital staff. 

"The matter was reported to the Hawks and investigations revealed that the claim was false. Investigations are ongoing to ascertain his involvement [in] the same alleged tricks countrywide," said Mulaudzi.

He is expected to appear in court again on March 25.

Daily Dispatch reported in 2017 that Nonxuba effectively conceded in court that he overcharged a severely disabled client to the tune of more than R4m, which he agreed to immediately pay back.

It took over three years of threats, reports to the Law Society and expensive high court litigation to get Nonxuba to pay his paraplegic former client, Avela Mabuti Mathimba, his due.

Nonxuba conceded that contingency fee agreements he alleged he concluded with Mathimba – which allowed him to grab some 62% of his client's damages awards – were unlawful. He also agreed to pay all Mathimba's legal costs incurred in the three-year battle.

In a separate case, in 2016, in which another client tried to recover money from Nonxuba, Judge Jeremy Pickering was so incensed at what he referred to as evidence of "gross misconduct and gross overreaching", that he referred the court papers to the Law Society.

In that matter, Nonxuba took 80% of a client's R1.1m Road Accident Fund (RAF) settlement, which was intended to help her care for her severely brain damaged child.

Read more on:    raf  |  zuko nonxuba  |  port elizabeth  |  court
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