Avatar photo

By Vukosi Maluleke

Digital Journalist

Trio imprisoned for attempting to defraud the Road Accident Fund

The trio submitted 573 fraudulent claims from 40 road accidents.

A family of three was sentenced to prison for attempting to defraud the Road Accident Fund (RAF) of R31 million.

A mother, daughter and son-in-law appeared in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court last week.

Collectively, the trio submitted 573 fraudulent claims from 40 road accidents.

“The modus operandi of the fraudsters included recruiting individuals to lie about getting injured during a car crash, using number plates of old cars that are no longer roadworthy, claiming for injury benefits for road accidents that had no victims, and using stolen number plates of stationery cars more than once,” RAF said in a statement.

Magdil Groenewald was found guilty on 134 counts of fraud and sentenced to five years in prison. However, she may be placed under correctional supervision at the discretion of the Commissioner of Correctional Services, or a parole board.

Meanwhile, Tanya Senekal and her husband Jaco Senekal each received eight-year sentences after they were found guilty of 403 fraud charges.

ALSO READ: Former KZN attorney sentenced to 10 years in jail for fraud

‘Dire financial implications’

RAF CEO, Collins Letsoalo welcomed the sentences.

“Fraudulent claims have dire financial and resource implications on 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,” Letsoalo said.

“For this reason, we believe that sentencing related to stealing from claimants and the road users are given maximum sentences and are without suspensions.” he added.

RAF’s Forensic Investigation Department successfully managed to stop fraudulent claims worth more than R2.6 billion in the last three years.

ALSO READ: Beware of these job scams

Insurance fraud on the rise

Meanwhile, insurance fraud has become increasingly common – especially when it comes to life cover policies.

“We estimate that fraud cases are increasing as people try to gain monetary benefit from financial products. However, such an increase is difficult to quantify because we only know what we can see,” said Garth de Kirk, CEO of the Insurance Crime Bureau (ICB).

READ MORE: Life insurance fraud: Here’s how innocent consumers are ‘tricked’ into becoming complicit

Read more on these topics

fraud Road Accident Fund (RAF)

Access premium news and stories

Access to the top content, vouchers and other member only benefits