AGE OF ACCOUNTABILITY
Trio jailed for 537 fraudulent Road Accident Fund claims
The fraudulent scheme included a raft of offences ranging from recruiting individuals to lie about getting injured during a car crash to using stolen number plates.
A family trio consisting of a mother, daughter and the daughter’s husband were sentenced to jail last week for fraudulently attempting to claim R31-million from the Road Accident Fund (RAF).
The three submitted 537 fraudulent claims from 40 road accidents.
Last Thursday, the Johannesburg Magistrates’ Court sentenced Tanya Senekal and Jaco Senekal to eight years’ imprisonment each, of which two years were suspended for five years on condition they were not convicted of fraud committed during the period of suspension.
They were each found guilty on 403 charges.
Magdil Groenewald was sentenced to a five-year jail term and may be placed under correctional supervision at the discretion of the Commissioner of Correctional Services or a parole board. She was found guilty of 134 counts of fraud.
The trio’s fraudulent scheme included recruiting individuals to lie about being injured during a car crash, using number plates of old cars that were no longer roadworthy, claiming injury benefits for road accidents that had no victims, and using stolen number plates of stationary cars more than once.
RAF chief executive officer, Collins Letsoalo, says fraudulent claims have dire financial and resource implications for the RAF in that employees who handle claims must also sift through fraudulent claims.
“This exercise extends the amount of time it takes to settle valid claims. For this reason, we believe that sentencing related to stealing from claimants and road users are given maximum sentences and are without suspensions.”
In the past three financial years, the RAF has successfully stopped fraudulent claims involving almost R2.7-billion. DM