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RUSTENBURG - Three former employees of the department of  labour convicted of fraud appeared in the Pretoria Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday for sentencing, the department said.

Department spokesman Teboho Thejane said Maxwell Ramaphosa, Samuel Mfeleng, and Kgabo Johanna Methi were found guilty on May 30 for defrauding the department’s compensation fund of R476,150.58.

Ramaphosa and Mfeleng were found guilty on 10 counts of fraud and money laundering, and Methi was found guilty on three counts of fraud.

The court head that Maxwell Ramaphosa had terminated the mandate of his attorney who has represented him for the past eight years, while Mfeleng’s attorney has died with a new attorney being appointed to represent him.

The case was postponed to August 24 for sentencing proceedings.

The three were accused of colluding with a physiotherapist, Dr Jones Mothemola Modau, by siphoning the Compensation Fund using fictitious claims and channeling the money into Modau’s account and a friend’s Driving School account. The money would later be shared.

"The accused first appeared in the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crime Court and their matter was transferred to the Pretoria Magistrates’ Court in a separation of trial, after a fellow accused Dr Modau based in Rustenburg, North West pleaded guilty in 2012,"  said  Thejane.

Modau was handed multiple suspended sentences by the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crimes Court for defrauding the department of labour’s Compensation Fund.

He was sentenced to three years of correctional supervision (house arrest), but allowed to go to work and church. He was also handed a further three years - suspended for five years - on condition that he does not commit any theft or fraud during the next five years. On a charge of money laundering, he was sentenced to two-years imprisonment suspended for a five-year period.

"In another case Ramaphosa and Mfeleng were in 2016 found guilty for defrauding the department’s Compensation Fund R2.1 million and were handed 10 years imprisonment wholly suspended for five years by the Pretoria Magistrates’ Court."

The Compensation Fund is a public entity under the administration of the department of labour. It provides cover to workers injured and/or who contract diseases at work.

African News Agency (ANA)