Senior education specialist sentenced for insurance fraud

Senior Eastern Cape education specialist Sizile Witness Mateta, 55, was handed a two year suspended prison sentence on Friday by the Gqeberha Regional Court.
GUILTY: Senior Eastern Cape education specialist Sizile Witness Mateta, 55, was handed a two year suspended prison sentence on Friday by the Gqeberha Regional Court.
Image: SUPPLIED

Senior Eastern Cape education specialist Sizile Witness Mateta, 55, was handed a suspended prison sentence on Friday by the Gqeberha Regional Court after pleading guilty to charges of funeral policy fraud.

Hawks spokesperson Captain Yolisa Mgolo­dela ​said during the period April 9, 2014 and January 16, 2015, an insurance broker in cahoots with a Humewood police reservist are alleged to had used the reservist's second Ident­ity Document (ID) to commit the insurance fraud.

“The police res­ervist is alleged to have had two ID boo­ks with different da­tes of birth hence his willingness to use one in the orchest­ration of the fraudu­lent activities," Mgolodela said.

“The​ broker is repo­rted to have approac­hed five of his insurance clients, including Mateta, to take death cover policies for the reservist and lodge a death claim after the waiting period had lapsed."

The other suspects included int­er alia the broker himself, the reservis­t, the daughter of the broker, a former SA Police Service member, another member of the public.

As well as a funeral parlour director and his cle­rk who said that the body was colle­cted and buried by them.

"The last suspect is the late doctor who is said to have certified the non-e­xistent corpse as dead,” Mgolodela said.

During March 2017, a Forensic Auditor fr­om 1 Life Insurance Company lodged a co­mplaint with the Serious Corruption Investig­ation of the Hawks in East London for pr­obing, their investigation culmin­ated in the arrest of the suspects on January 21.

“The investigations revealed that in Janu­ary 2015, Mateta ​ lodged a​ R30,000 de­ath claim for the pu­rported dead police reservist with 1 Life and R15​,000 claim wi­th Old Mutual which were both successf­ully ​ paid out.

"The reservist is report­ed to have been work­ing at Humewood poli­ce station in Gqeber­ha at the time.

“Mate­ta pleaded guilty on his first court app­earance, after his ar­rest on January 21. This led to the decision by his atto­rney to request a separation of trials­,” Mgolodela said.

Mateta was relea­sed on a R2,000 bail on February 12 and subsequently convicted on August 27.​

“He was given two years imprisonment senten­ce suspended for five years provided he does not engage in acts of dishonesty during the period of suspension.

“He was further ordered to pay Old Mutual the R7,­000 outstanding balance as he had already paid R8,000 .

“Mateta has since repaid ​1 Life the R30​,000." .

The other seven accu­sed will be back in court on November 9for their trial, Mgolodela said.

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