Serial fraud accused set to appear

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Independent Newspapers

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The trial of two former employees of the department of labour accused of swindling millions from the Compensation Fund is set to resume on Monday.

The department said on Friday that proceedings against Maxwell Ramaphosa and Samuel Mfeleng, both aged 36, were postponed earlier this month by the Pretoria Magistrate's Court when prosecutor Margaret Thulare fell ill.

The pair face 15 counts of fraud and 26 counts of money laundering.

Both residents of Soshanguve in Pretoria, they are out on bail of R3000.

The two allegedly connived with Jurry Sehunoe, a Rustenburg physiotherapist, in their scheme. They 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 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.

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

The trial was separated when the matter of Ramaphosa and Mfeleng was transferred to the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court.

Ramaphosa and Mfeleng are also entangled in two other alleged fraud cases.

They are among seven former employees of the department and a doctor accused of defrauding the Compensation Fund of around R1million.

In the other case, the two are among four people, including another physiotherapist, accused of allegedly defrauding the department of about half a million rand.

In both these cases the accused are out of custody on warning.

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 of custody on R5000 bail.

He allegedly defrauded the Compensation Fund of about R680 000. The doctor allegedly submitted 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. - Sapa


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