Fraud sus­pect or­dered to keep court in­formed

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

A WOMAN charged with fraud re­lat­ing to an al­leged false claim lodged with the Road Ac­ci­dent Fund ( RAF) was warned yes­ter­day to get air­time as a pri­or­ity to en­able her to tele­phone the court au­thor­i­ties if she was un­able to at­tend pro­ceed­ings.

A war­rant for the im­me­di­ate ar­rest of Non­tombi Si­manga, 36, was is­sued on Monday af­ter she failed to re­spond when her name was called at a court in Bel­lville.

Dur­ing yes­ter­day’s pro­ceed­ings in the Spe­cialised Com­mer­cial Crime Court in Bel­lville, pros­e­cu­tor Si­mone Liede­man said the ar­rest war­rant had not been ex­e­cuted, and Si­manga, of Gugulethu, had come to court of her own vo­li­tion – un­aware of the war­rant.

The pros­e­cu­tor said Si­manga had been ill, ac­cord­ing to le­gal aid de­fence lawyer Har­ley Cloete, and the State ac­cepted this as the rea­son for her ab­sence.

Si­manga ap­peared be­fore mag­is­trate Sab­rina Son­nen­berg, who warned her to ap­pear again on Novem­ber 4 – but not be­fore is­su­ing a stern warn­ing.

Ques­tioned by the mag­is­trate, Si­manga said she was un­em­ployed and sur­vived on a govern­ment grant.

The mag­is­trate warned her to use some of her money to pur­chase air­time “so that you can call the court if you can­not at­tend the pro­ceed­ings”.

The mag­is­trate said her fail­ure to at­tend the pro­ceed­ings on Monday was un­fair to the of­fi­cers of the court, as well as the public.

She said Si­manga’s fail­ure to ap­pear had caused a waste of re­sources, as the po­lice had to track her down when they could have spent their time at­tend­ing to se­ri­ous crime and ap­pre­hend­ing hard­ened crim­i­nals in­stead.

Si­manga has not yet pleaded to the fraud charge.

It is al­leged she lodged a fraud­u­lent R10 000 claim with

It is al­leged four years ago

the RAF four years ago, falsely stat­ing she had been knocked over as a pedes­trian.

An in­ves­ti­ga­tion re­vealed she had nei­ther re­ported the in­ci­dent to the po­lice nor called an am­bu­lance.

Although she had been to a med­i­cal prac­ti­tioner for the com­ple­tion of a med­i­cal re­port, she had failed to in­form the doc­tor she had been knocked over by a car.

A sec­ond al­leged RAF fraud mat­ter yes­ter­day, in the same court, in­volved Faith Mgcina, 33, also of Gugulethu.

Pros­e­cu­tor Den­zyl Com­brink al­leged she had falsely claimed to have been the vic­tim of a hit-and-run in­ci­dent five years ago, fraud­u­lently claim­ing R832 000 from the RAF.

In her claim, it is al­leged she falsely stated she had lost her two-month preg­nancy, as well as her job with a home­based care NGO as a re­sult of the in­ci­dent.

Ac­cord­ing to the charge sheet, an in­ves­ti­ga­tion re­vealed she had suf­fered an ec­topic preg­nancy, in which the foe­tus de­vel­ops out­side the womb, and had bled for three days be­fore the al­leged hit-an­drun.

Ac­cord­ing to the charge sheet, RAF au­thor­i­ties be­came sus­pi­cious of the claim and de­clined it.

Mgcina was warned to ap­pear in court again on Novem­ber 14. – ANA

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