RAF fraud cases suddenly disappear off court roll - Chris Hunsinger

Withdrawals come only days after sudden shuttering of fraud investigation team, says DA

RAF fraud cases disappear off court roll

Only days after the sudden shut-down of the Road Accident Fund’s specialised Fraud Investigating Task Team (FITT), which focussed on investigating alleged false RAF claims, the DA has learnt from local prosecutors that a number of fraud cases have been withdrawn from the court roll.

The DA is most concerned that this could be happening countrywide and therefore calls on people who may be affected to alert us to further cases which might have been summarily withdrawn.

The shocking withdrawal of these cases – and the selective and hasty manner in which it has happened - must be investigated. Some of these cases have been under investigation for several years.

Last month the DA revealed that the RAF Board had shut-down the 22-strong unit, which was investigating 300 outstanding cases of fraud and corruption to the tune of R300 million and which has saved the RAF millions through convictions since 2003.

I was subsequently contacted by a number of individuals, including those working in the courts, who informed me of withdrawals from courts which were carrying bigger numbers of cases on the roll. The cases involve charges against medical doctors, members of the SAPS as well as against touts.

In Port Shepstone alone, the following cases were withdrawn:

- Dr. Moletsane (R9.5 m allegedly stolen from the fund in fraudulent claims)

- Dr. Thusi & SAPS member (R1.1 m in fraudulent claims)

- Dr. Kahn & 2 SAPS members and tout (R2 m).

The total amount involved in the alleged fraudulent claims is, to date, estimated to be more than R12 million, excluding the cost of investigation and structural overheads in preparing these cases. The anti-fraud unit has been working vigorously to prevent these false claims and had an impeccable track record, having lost only one case.

Members of the unit have told the DA they are suspicious of the hasty withdrawal of these cases and feel that their years of hard work have gone down the drain.

There is a very real possibility that all the FITT cases countrywide will be withdrawn, which will amount to a huge amount of fruitless expenditure due to the numerous hours of investigation having been lost.  

Once we have established how widespread the withdrawal of cases is, the DA will consider laying charges in terms of Section 4 of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act, which deals with corrupt activities relating to public offices, which appears to have been violated in this instance.

The closure of this unit means that the RAF is now totally exposed to corruption and fraud. It is, in fact, open for plundering.

I urge people with any information on cases being withdrawn to contact our helpline on 087 2339188. Or e-mail: [email protected]

Issued by Chris Hunsinger, DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Transport, 5 October 2015