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Port Elizabeth - The Mthatha High Court has granted an interdict to stop payments of almost R40 million to an Eastern Cape attorney who was arrested for fraud relating to medico-legal claims exceeding R90 million.

Head of the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) in the Eastern Cape, Advocate Andy Mothibi, welcomed the court order handed down on Tuesday which saw the freezing of payment to Zuko Nonxuba from Nonxuba Incorporated Attorneys. 

SIU Head of Communications, Nazreen Pandor, said Nonxuba was recently arrested and charged with fraudulent medico-legal claims lodged with the Eastern Cape Health Department. 

Nonxumba's arrest followed on an intensive investigation by the SIU and the Eastern Cape Department of Health. Pandor said the investigation revealed a number of fraudulent medico-legal claims after which the SIU, the Directorate for Priority Crime investigation (Hawks) and National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) collaborated and ensured that the attorney was arrested. 

The attorney was released on R80 000 bail.  

"Following his release he called the Sheriff in Centurion, Gauteng, demanding payments of R26 million and R13 million. This was brought to the attention of the Head of SIU, Adv Andy Mothibi who swiftly instructed the SIU legal team to work with the Eastern Cape Department of Health and the Gauteng Sheriff to initiate a legal process to stop these further payments."  

Pandor said the investigation into fraudulent medico-legal claims was ongoing and based on the evidence gathered thus far, more arrests were expected.  

It was revealed during the provincial budget speech on Tuesday that the Eastern Cape Department of Health is facing medico-legal claims estimated at around R23 billion, while the department has already spent R630 million on medical malpractice claims during the 2018/19 financial year. 

African News Agency (ANA)