Senior education specialist sentenced for insurance fraud
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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