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Fund case deferred to permit lawyers submit heads of argument

Pretoria Magistrates’ Court on Thursday postponed the trial of three former Department of Labour’s Compensation Fund, accused to have defrauded the entity thousands of rands to February 8.

The matter has been deferred to permit legal advisors representing the accused to present their heads of argument.

Maxwell Ramaphosa, Samuel Mfeleng and (Ms) Kgabo Johanna Methi are accused to have swindled the Department’s Compensation Fund of R476 150, 58.

Ramaphosa, Mfeleng and Methi have pleaded not guilty and are facing three charges of fraud and four counts of money laundering.

The accused are out on a warning.

Earlier Ramaphosa testified that he realised fraud charges against him when he was called to show up under the steady gaze of the Court.

The fraud trial has been delaying since 2011.

The accused first appeared in the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crime Court and their matter was subsequently heard in the Pretoria Magistrates’ Court.

The trial was separated after a fellow accused Dr Jones Mothemola Modau, a physiotherapist situated in Rustenburg, North West confessed.

The court prior heard that Ramaphosa, Mfeleng and Methi enlisted Modau to submit deceitful claims which would later be processed and payments transferred into his account.

The money would be later shared among them.

In his testimony, Ramaphosa denied any knowledge of Modau.

This is in spite of the Court setting proof before him that together with his co-accused they teamed up in preparing asserted fraudulent claims and later paid him.

Modau will later transfer the money to a Driving School before sharing it.

Ramaphosa also rejected testimony of a Data Analyst.

He said the spread sheets she displayed in Court indicating voluminous and inflated payments were manipulated.

Mfeleng who used to work at the Fund as both Claims Preparor and Capturer also testified that he didn’t know anything about fraud charges leveled against him.

Mfeleng testified that he first met Modau when introduced to him by a physiotherapist friend who lodged claim with the Compensation Fund.

Asked by Prosecutor Margaret Thulare if he knew of documentary evidence that demonstrated that Modau (Physiotherapist) had deposited cash  in to his wife’s bank account, Mfeleng reacted that he was “discouraged” by such a demonstration.

Mfeleng further told the Court that he was “spending restless nights” about the conduct of his wife, whom he said was still fighting, demanding [today] demanding answers on his relationship with Modau.

Methi testified  she was fired for fraud she didn’t 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.

Pretoria Magistrate’s Court sentenced the pair to 10 years imprisonment, suspended for five years.

The Compensation Fund is a public entity under the Department of Labour.

=The CF gives cover to workers injured as well as who contract sicknesses at work.

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