Cape Town - A 54-year-old father of four was sentenced to three years house arrest on Tuesday, for putting in a false claim against the Road Accident Fund (RAF).

In addition to the house arrest, he was given a four-year prison sentence, conditionally suspended for five years, and he was declared unfit to possess a firearm.

MacDonald Maseti appeared in the Specialised Commercial Crime Court in Bellville, Cape Town, before magistrate Sabrina Sonnenberg, who declared the sentence “fair and just in its entirety”.

The proceedings took the form of a plea bargain, negotiated by legal aid attorney Harley Cloete with prosecutor Jacques Smith.

According to court papers, he submitted a claim for R107 706, stating falsely that his brother had been killed in a road smash, and that he was claiming on behalf of his brother’s daughter – when, in fact, he was the biological father of the girl and not his brother.

According to court papers, the fraudulent claim at first induced the RAF authorities to approve it, but suspicion prior to payment triggered an investigation that uncovered the fraud.

There was no indication on the papers about what caused the RAF suspicion.

The house arrest includes community service, in the form of cleaning and maintenance at the Stutterheim police station in the Eastern Cape, where he lives.

Masiti was warned that he may only leave his home to go to his place of employment, and that he may not consume liquor for the three years.

He was warned also that he would be subjected to around-the-clock monitoring by the prison authorities, who could call at his home at any time when he was supposed to be home.

If, during such a visit, he was absent, or smelled of liquor, or was under the influence of narcotic drugs, he would be taken back into custody and brought before the court again.

African News Agency