Eastern Cape doctor convicted of defrauding hospital start-up fund out of millions
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Cape Town – An Eastern Cape doctor has been convicted on charges of theft and fraud in the Mthatha regional court.
Chwayita Ongama Yongama Yako, a doctor practising in the Mthatha district, was arrested in November 2018, the provincial spokesperson for the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (the Hawks) Captain Yolisa Mgolodela said in a statement on Wednesday.
A complaint was lodged with the Hawks’ serious commercial crime investigation team in Mthatha in 2013.
This was linked to an agreement Yako entered into with the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) representing Cross-Med Health Group and MPA Management Services in July 2011.
The contract was referred to as an exclusive agency agreement.
According to Mgolodela, in February 2012, the IDC approved a R75.68 million loan to Cross-Med Health Care Centre Pty Ltd for the construction of a 52-bed private hospital facility in the Mthatha area, which is now operating as the Mthatha Private Hospital.
Under the loan agreement, Yako had to contribute R4 million into the project through his company Osteen Heath Group Pty Ltd. Half of his contribution was meant to go towards the construction of the hospital.
Yako then opened a Cross-Med bank account on behalf of the group with First National Bank, to which he was the sole signatory responsible for all payments.
“(A) company called Copperzone was supposed to have been introduced to the IDC as a business partner with Yako’s company, but it never was. The aforementioned company deposited more than R4.5 million into the Cross-Med bank account as a business partner for business related matters,” said Mgolodela.
“Yako used R2.32 million from the Cross-Med Health Care Group bank account for his aggrandisement.”
Yako is due to be sentenced on September 29.
African News Agency (ANA)