Pretoria - The trial of three government employees accused of defrauding the labour department's Compensation Fund was postponed on Wednesday.
Labour Department spokesman Page Boikanyo said two witnesses scheduled to give evidence in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court were unavailable.
“One witness was said to have suffered a stroke and the other was in Botswana on a work-related assignment,” Boikanyo said.
Maxwell Ramaphosa, Samuel Mfeleng and Kgabo Johanna Methi are alleged to have defrauded the department of R476 150.58.
They have pleaded not guilty to three counts of fraud and four counts of money laundering.
The trial is expected to continue on March 3.
A fourth man, Rustenburg physiotherapist Jones Mothemola Modau, pleaded guilty in March 2012 in the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crime Court where the matter was originally heard.
Modau was handed a five-year suspended sentence.
“The accused are alleged to have falsified and inflated claims above the normal applicable medical rates. It is alleged that Ramaphosa, Mfeleng and Methi recruited Modau to submit fraudulent claims which were later processed and payments were made into Modau's accounts.”
Boikanyo said the money was allegedly transferred into four different bank accounts and then shared between the four accused.