Ricochet News

Fraudster, Dr Mokhua handed a suspended sentence to defrauding Department of Labour's Compensation Fund

By Supplied - Jul 13, 2015

Fraudster, Dr Patrick Badirwang Mokhua (40) of Hartswater in the Northern Cape Province was today (July 13) sentenced to four years imprisonment that is suspended for  four years to defrauding the Department of Labour’s Compensation Fund.

Delivering the sentence Magistrate Martin van Wyk said the sentence would be applicable on condition that the accused is not convicted of any offence where dishonesty is an element during the period of suspension.

Furthermore, the Court sentenced Dr Mokhua to three years correctional supervision – in which the accused shall be subjected to a house arrest for the full duration of the sentence; shall not leave his residential address or place of employment without permission of the correctional services officer – except for emergency situations; shall perform unpaid community service of 576 hours to be determined by the Commissioner; the accused shall refrain from the use of alcohol and use of drugs; the accused shall submit himself to all reasonable programmes/treatment that the Commissioner may prescribe.

Dr Mokhua is also expected to repay back the R688 859,74 plus interest that he defrauded the Department of Labour’s Compensation Fund. He is also expected to report at least once a month to the Correctional Offices at Kgosi Mampuru Reintegration Offices in Pretoria (Tshwane).

Van Wyk told the Court that the interests of society needed to be protected. He cautioned the fraudster (Dr Mokhua) that being a first-time offender “does not insulate one from serving time in prison”.

In his mitigation ahead of the sentencing, Dr Mokhua pleaded with the Court that he had four kids who dependent on him, and this also included his mother who was a pensioner, his wife who was still studying and an unemployed brother.

Prosecutor Aphiwe Kutshwa had earlier appealed for a tougher sentence. Kutshwa said: “Dr Mokhua’s offence is motivated by greed. He could feed his family without resorting to crime”.  Kutshwa said fraud in this area of medical operation was prevalent and the accused needed to be taught a lesson.

Dr Mokhua, a medical practitioner was facing 17 charges of fraud.

In 2013 he was also found guilty by the Professional Conduct Committee of the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) in Pretoria for gross misconduct after allegedly receiving “illegal” payments from the Department of Labour’s Compensation Fund. Mokhua was suspended for five years from running a private practice, but spared to work only in public hospitals.

The Compensation Fund is a public entity of the Department of Labour that provides cushion to workers injured and for diseases sustained at work.