MISAPPROPRIATED RAF FUNDS PAID BACK TO THE VICTIM OF FRAUD

MISAPPROPRIATED RAF FUNDS PAID BACK TO THE VICTIM OF FRAUD

Funds belonging to a wheelchair-bound and brain-injured Road Accident Fund (RAF) beneficiary, whose sister used to buy a vehicle for her RAF-employee boyfriend, have been paid back to the beneficiary’s account after the NPA’s Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) preserved and had the said vehicle auctioned. In 2009, Mahlubandile Mavuso was involved in a motor vehicle accident as a pedestrian, when he was run over by a car. He sustained serious physical and brain injuries and was subsequently unable to personally handle his financial affairs. His biological sister, Nokulungisa, acted as a caregiver or guardian and submitted a claim to the RAF. The claim was successful, and in the years 2013 and 2014, the fund paid out in two tranches totaling R1.4 million to the account belonging to the sister.

On 22 March 2014, the sister electronically transferred R143 000 to a vehicle seller, with a reference “Mzuvukile Gcanabana”, for a purchase of an Isuzu KB 300TD. The R143 000 belonged to Mahlubandile Mavuso and was never at any stage intended for Gcanabana. The sister, as the guardian, had no right to purchase the vehicle for her boyfriend using the beneficiary’s funds. The vehicle got registered in Gcanabana’s name, who was employed as a Claims Handler at the RAF at that time, and therefore had inside knowledge of the claim.

AFU received a referral from the Specialised Commercial Crime Unit to handle the matter and successfully obtained an order to preserve the vehicle as it was identified as the proceeds of fraud. On 25 April 2023, a forfeiture order, which is a final order, was granted by the High Court directing that the vehicle be forfeited to the state and proceeds of its auction be paid to Mavuso. The vehicle has been sold and a sum of R45 650, being the proceeds thereof, has been paid back to Mavuso, as the victim of the fraudulent activities.

The criminal case against Gcanabana is still pending before the East London Regional Court.

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