18 January 2018

South Africa: Labour On Postponement of Compensation Fund Case

press release

The trial of three former employees of the Department of Labour's Compensation Fund (CF) accused of defrauding the Fund was today postponed in the Pretoria Magistrates' Court to allow lawyers to submit their heads of argument.

The Court will now hear the matter on 08 February 2018.

Maxwell Ramaphosa, Samuel Mfeleng and (Ms) Kgabo Johanna Methi are alleged to have defrauded the Department's Compensation Fund of R476 150, 58. Ramaphosa, Mfeleng and Methi have pleaded not guilty and are facing three counts of fraud and four counts of money laundering. The accused are out on a warning.

Earlier Ramaphosa testified that he became aware of fraud allegations against him when he was summoned to appear before the Court.

The fraud trial has been dragging on since 2011. 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 Jones Mothemola Modau, a physiotherapist based in Rustenburg, North West pleaded guilty.

It is alleged that Ramaphosa, Mfeleng and Methi recruited Modau to submit fraudulent claims which would later be processed and payments would be paid into his accounts, and the money would be later shared.

In his testimony Ramaphosa denied any knowledge of Modau, despite the Court placing evidence before him that together with his co-accused they collaborated in processing alleged fraudulent claims and later paid Modau who would later transfer the money to a Driving School before it was shared. Ramaphosa also dismissed the testimony of a Data Analyst, saying that the spread sheets she presented in Court showing voluminous and inflated payments were manipulated.

Mfeleng who used to work at the Fund as both Claims Preparor and Capturer also testified that he knew nothing about fraud charges levelled against him. Mfeleng testified that he first met with Modau after he was introduced to him by a physiotherapist friend who had come to lodge a claim with the Compensation Fund.

Asked by Prosecutor Margaret Thulare if he was aware of documentary evidence that showed that Modau (Physiotherapist) had deposited money to his wife's bank account, Mfeleng responded that he was "depressed" by such an act. Mfeleng further told the Court that he was "spending sleepless nights" about the conduct of his wife, whom he said he was still fighting today demanding answers on his relationship with Modau.

Methi testified that she was unfairly dismissed for fraud she did not commit. While Methi acknowledged that she knew Ramaphosa and Mfeleng as they were working in the same Section, she denied knowledge of Modau.

In another case Ramaphosa and Mfeleng were in 2016 found guilty for defrauding the 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 Department of Labour. The CF provides cover to workers injured and/or who contract diseases at work.

Issued by: Department of Labour

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