An Eastern Cape man has been convicted and sentenced in the Gqeberha New Law Court on charges of fraud after he tried defrauding the Road Accident Fund (RAF).
Lunga Charles Pokomela, 50, claimed he had been involved in a hit-and-run accident near Maqanda Street in Kwazakhele on August 26, 2012.
Provincial spokesperson for the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (known as Hawks), Warrant Officer Ndiphiwe Mhlakuvana, said Pokomela lodged a complaint through John Scott Attorney’s on January 2, 2014, alleging he sustained injuries during the accident.
"Pokomela claimed that he had a witness who saw his hit-and-run. However, Pokomela falsely submitted a claim against the RAF for an accident that never occurred.
“It was further revealed that RAF conducted its internal investigation on the bogus accident and picked up some discrepancies in the claim. The matter was then referred to Hawks for further investigation," Mhlakuvana said.
Upon interviewing the witness, the witness told investigators that Pokomela was never in an accident. It simply did not happen.
"The investigation exposed that the claim was refuted and RAF was nearly prejudiced a total amount of R750,000," Mhlakuvana said.
Pokomela was arrested by the Hawks on February 8, 2022, and was released on a warning by the court.
The court sentenced Pokomela to five years imprisonment, suspended for a period of four years on condition he is not convicted of fraud during the period of suspension.
There was no order by the court for Pokomela to pay a fine.