South Africa 24.4.2015 08:00 am

Doctor loses bid to keep money

Picture: Thinkstock

Picture: Thinkstock

A North West medical doctor accused of defrauding the Workman’s Compensation Fund of more than R12 million has lost his bid to overturn a forfeiture order against him.

A full bench of the High Court in Pretoria yesterday dismissed the appeal of Dr Solomon Ntsoko against the order obtained by the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) two years ago.

The money in his bank accounts, a property in a country estate, three BMWs and a Mini Cooper which he registered in his sister’s name were, in terms of the court order, forfeited to the state.

Ntsoko, who has not yet been arrested or charged, maintained the forfeiture order infringed his rights to a fair trial and to property. He flatly denied being involved in any criminal activities or that the property seized was from the proceeds of criminal activities.

Judge Moses Mavundla said it was common cause Ntsoko had in 2009 submitted 1 919 claims to the Workman’s Compensation Fund in respect of services he allegedly rendered to 49 patients who suffered from occupational injuries or diseases.

An amount of more than R12 million was deposited into his bank account, whereafter he immediately started making payments and purchasing property and vehicles.

The NDPP alleged Ntsoko had submitted fictitious and grossly inflated claims to the fund with the help of his messenger and other employees of the fund.

It is alleged he never consulted any of the 49 patients and grossly inflated the claims, for instance claiming R4 000 for a single consultation, which the NDPP said was ludicrous for a general practitioner.

Before the R12 million was paid into his account, Ntsoko allegedly owed his bank more than R57 000.

Judge Mavundla said Ntsoko had never made a full disclosure in his defence, making it irresistible to conclude the property and amounts in his bank accounts were indeed proceeds of criminal activities.

He said the need to curb the evil of crime outweighed Ntsoko’s constitutional rights.

– ilsedl@citizen.co.za.

 

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