Mpumalanga attorney arrested for alleged theft of R1.8m RAF award meant for client

Mantladi Jo-Ann Mmela. Photo: Supplied by Hawks

Mantladi Jo-Ann Mmela. Photo: Supplied by Hawks

Published Sep 21, 2022


Pretoria - A Mpumalanga attorney, Mantladi Jo-Ann Mmela, appeared at the Middleburg Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday after she allegedly stole R1.8m meant for a client from the Road Accident Fund (RAF).

Hawks Mpumalanga spokesperson Captain Dineo Sekgotodi said the 41-year-old was appointed by a complainant after he was severely injured during an accident.

“RAF paid the money to the attorney’s bank account but she did not pay the victim, instead, she transferred (the money) to other accounts,” Sekgotodi said.

Mmela was released on R25 000 bail.

Her matter was postponed to 5 December for further investigations.

In another similar matter on Monday, a former Durban cop Darron Everol Jansen, was sentenced to an effective seven years’ imprisonment for submitting fraudulent claims to RAF.

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) regional spokesperson Natasha Ramkisson-Kara said Jansen, together with his co-accused, Sandile Khwela, used a June 2008 Port Shepstone accident report to submit fraudulent RAF claims.

“While the report and the details of the report were correct, the two populated fraudulent details of complainants before enlisting the assistance of an attorney to submit the claims to the RAF,” said Ramkisson-Kara.

Ramkisson-Kara said without the complainants’ knowledge and consent, Jansen and Khwela used their ID numbers and personal details.

“These people weren’t in any way involved in the accident,” she added.

She said Jansen and Khwela committed the offences from 2008 to 2011, until the RAF became suspicious of the volume of cases emanating from the KZN South Coast.

As a result, an investigation was launched which resulted in their arrest.

“Had the fraud not been discovered, the RAF could have suffered a potential loss of about R1.4 million,” said Ramkisson-Kara.