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A witness in the trial of a Northern Cape doctor accused of fraud has apologised for the mistakes in his testimony.
Former Compensation Fund forensic investigator Tshepo Sexwale told Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crime Court magistrate Dawie Jacobs that he had omitted some aspects from his testimony.
“I must admit that I made a mistake,” Sexwale said.
The magistrate responded that Sexwale had not only made a mistake, but “a big mistake”.
Sexwale was giving evidence at the trial of Pampierstad, Northern Cape, doctor Tebogo Ephraim Kaeletsa, who is accused of defrauding the Compensation Fund of R700 000.
Kaeletsa, who was arrested in 2010, is out on bail of R5 000.
It is alleged that Kaeletsa, with the assistance of a Compensation Fund official, made false claims against the agency, which is part of the Department of Labour.
Sexwale had told the court earlier that he had visited Kaeletsa’s surgery with another forensic investigator, a Mr Zwane.
Under cross-examination he said that he and Zwane had introduced themselves to Kaeletsa and also read him his rights.
Jacobs said this was not contained in his (Sexwale’s) evidence in chief.
He also raised concerns that Sexwale’s evidence differed from that of Zwane who had testified earlier that Kaeletsa had not been read his rights and that they had not shown him (Kaeletsa) their appointment cards.
“Your version does not correspond with that of Mr Zwane. You have very little that corroborates each other.
“With your experience, one would have expected you to make proper observations (during the visit to Kaeletsa’s surgery), especially as you suspected that fraud was involved,” said Jacobs.
Earlier, Sexwale told the court that he and Zwane had confronted Kaeletsa with a list of patients – whom he had allegedly treated – but he told him that he did not have any record of the patients because he had not treated them.
Kaeletsa accompanied them to the Pampierstad police station where he was expected to make an affidavit.
Sexwale said they had sought permission from a senior police officer to use one of the offices.
Sexwale told the court that Kaeletsa had stopped writing the affidavit and told them he wanted to tell them something.
“He told us he did not have anything to hide. He informed us that he had received Compensation Fund payments with the assistance of official Kabelo Senne,” Sexwale said.
Kaeletsa’s legal representative, Samuel Molele, denied this, saying that Zwane had told his client what to write in the affidavit.
Molele said Zwane had told Kaeletsa that “you are not going to waste our time”. Zwane had also told Kaeletsa: “You are going to write what we tell you or else we are going to detain you.
“We (Zwane and Sexwale) cannot travel all the way from Pretoria and return with nothing.”
Sexwale denied this, adding that Kaeletsa had provided them with the information regarding the payments from the Compensation Fund.