Durban - Police have swooped on the family of a “fake quadriplegic” accused of defrauding the Road Accident Fund (RAF) of millions of rand.
Former policeman Mohamed Ebrahim, 56, stands accused of having conned the fund into paying him out for injuries he had not suffered.
His wife, son and daughter-in-law were allegedly all in on it. What's more, the authorities say, the three made themselves a pretty penny too.
Asha Ebrahim, 51, Junaid Ebrahim, 32 and Nerosha Nohar, 33, handed themselves over to the Hawks yesterday morning. They appeared in the Durban Specialised Commercial Crime Court a few hours later to apply for bail.
Public prosecutor Nolwazi Letsholo told magistrate Judy Naidoo that Ebrahim made the fund foot the bill for a troop of caretakers he hired to tend to him after his “accident”.
Letsholo said Ebrahim’s wife Asha, son Junaid and daughter-in-law Nohar were the caretakers he hired.
They are facing charges of defrauding the RAF out of R435 000 in connection with invoices submitted.
Yesterday, Letsholo said when police went to arrest the three on Tuesday night, they were not at their Pietermaritzburg home and their lawyer, Devin Moodley, had to hand them in. She said in light of this, the State wanted bail to be set at R20 000 for each of them.
The State wanted them to be ordered to report to authorities twice a week. Moodley, however, said his clients were on their way home when police arrived on Tuesday night.
Not evading cops
They had been in Durban, making arrangements for food to be delivered to Ebrahim, who is in custody. “They were not hiding or evading police,” he said.
Magistrate Naidoo set bail at R5 000 and did not attach any conditions. The three will appear in court alongside Ebrahim tomorrow when he is expected to apply for bail.
Ebrahim was going to apply for bail on Monday but his case had to be postponed.
According to court records, a Durban High Court judge in 2010 ordered the RAF to compensate Ebrahim for injuries he suffered as a result of a 2002 accident.
Claims included that he was left paralysed from the neck down, was unable to do anything for himself and needed adult nappies. But the state alleges he has a regular driving licence and was arrested while driving an unmodified car, that he gambles and uses public toilets.
It says when RAF officials go to check on Ebrahim, he refuses to see them.
More arrests are expected.