Judgment in the Ramaphosa and Mfeleng fraud trial postponed as lawyer from Legal Aid fails to appear
The Pretoria Magistrate’s Court today (December 9) postponed yet again judgment in the trial of two former employees of the Department of Labour’s (DoL) Compensation Fund (CF) allegedly accused of defrauding the state
Maxwell Ramaphosa (38) and Samuel Mfeleng (38) both from Soshanguve are facing 15 counts of fraud and 26 counts of money laundering. Ramaphosa and Mfeleng are out on an extended bail of R3000.
Judgment has now been postponed to 21 January 2015.
This is the third time judgment had to be postponed in the Ramaphosa and Mfeleng matter. On 1 October 2014 the Court could not locate Mfeleng’s lawyer (known as Mabalane) as the Court was told that he had gone for training to be a traditional healer.
Magistrate Fikile Ntlati postponed the matter and advised the accused to approach Legal Aid for assistance. It today emerged in Court that a lawyer seconded to represent Mfeleng was not familiar with Court proceedings.
Ntlati expressed concerns at the constant postponements, and said the Legal Aid would have to explain itself in Court for the latest delays.
The Ramaphosa and Mfeleng’s matter, in a separation of trial, was transferred from the Pretoria Commercial Crimes Court following a guilty plea by their fellow co-accused, Jurry Sehunoe, a physiotherapist operating from Rustenburg in North West. The three men first made their appearance in Court in March 2010.
Sehunoe broke ranks and pleaded guilty on 19 October 2011 in the matter at the Pretoria Commercial Crimes Court to defrauding the Department of Labour. He was subsequently handed a five-year suspended sentence.
Ramaphosa and Mfeleng are allegedly accused of conniving by processing and approving claims made by Sehunoe for services not rendered. They are alleged to have, between February 2009 and November 2009, made 15 deposits into the account of Sehunoe.
The accused are alleged to have siphoned money from the Department of Labour’s Compensation Fund and channelled it into Sehunoe’s bank accounts, and later shared the laundered money.
The two former public servants (Ramaphosa and Mfeleng) are also appearing in two other alleged fraud cases. In one case they were part of a syndicate of six former employees and a Doctor accused of defrauding the DoL’s CF about R1-million.
In the other case they were part of a quartet including a physiotherapist accused of allegedly defrauding the Department about half-a-million rand. In both these cases the accused are out on a warning.
The Compensation Fund is a public entity under the administration of Department of Labour responsible to cover workers injured during work or who sustain diseases during the course of their occupation.
Photo courtesy of www.lanereport.com
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