High Noon For The Road Accident Fund

Road Accident Fund

Defrauders Pocketing RAF claims!

Defrauders pocket a quarter of all cash made available to victims of South Africa’s national road carnage through the road accident fund, which this week received another warning that it’s on the point of insolvency.


As the RAF board began a countrywide roadshow to victims and brief stakeholders on short – and longterm strategies to maintain the sinking ship afloat while corruption is undertaken revelations about the level of the fraud came. Dr Saths Cooper, the temporary chairperson of the RAF, called it “likely the largest fraud story in South Africa’s history”.


Jeff Radebe, the transport minister, said last month the fund’s board had until August to begin implementing a phased turnaround strategy, along with a 2-year mandate to clean it up.


Cooper told a Cape Town meeting it was closer to a billion rands, as the fraud was previously estimated at about R500million a year.


As one of the collection of measures spelled out by Radebe to check corruption and fraud while making the fund more efficient a secret new verification process starts next month.


“We should all be concerned that there appears to be an industry of specialists feeding on the resources of the RAF and marginalising the legitimate victims in the procedure, making victims of injury victims again of the predatory system,” he said in his own budget vote address.


Cooper agreed this week that it was crunch time, and said failure to act could lead to the fund’s liquidation, scrapping and replacing by a fresh social benefit scheme as proposed by Judge Kathy Satchwell after her threeyear inquest.


Legal professionals, medical health professionals, members of the insurance industry, specialised healthcare societies, law enforcement entities and claimants are attending the fund’s consultative meetings, which some fear are geared toward preparing the people for dramatically decreased fund benefits.


But Cooper told them: “If you get the fraud out of the RAF there would not be a cash flow issues, therefore we are not under-financed. The quantity of fraud is nearly exactly the same as the shortfall we encounter. Therefore we cannot only raise the quantity of cash for fraud.”


He pleaded for a stockholder compact as envisaged by the minister last month, and as the majority of deceitful cases were lodged through private injury attorneys asked for aid against fraud.


Ten suspects were arrested this week for lodging deceitful claims within the Durban region. Six more suspects were reported to the neighborhood authorities. It’s considered 40 more suspects within the Durban region have been identified for arrest. It was the consequence of a combined effort with the South African Police Service and also the RAF regional Durban forensic department.


Since 2001 the RAF has investigated 1 954 fraud cases involving more than R82million. While 1 076 are being investigated, about 494 were successfully prosecuted.


Speaking in Cape Town in the kickoff meeting with stakeholders, Cooper said: “There are two alternatives: to liquidate and shut the fund and create a fresh one, which no one actually wants to occur. We do not understand the price to do so, but consequences of folding this fund are tremendous.

Continue to part 2




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