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Special Tribunal orders ex-state attorney official to pay back millions to Gauteng health department

A former state attorney official is alleged to have created 'fictitious and bogus' medico-legal claims to defraud the Gauteng health department. Stock photo.
A former state attorney official is alleged to have created 'fictitious and bogus' medico-legal claims to defraud the Gauteng health department. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/Olivier Le Moal

A former state attorney official together with a family member and an associate are in hot water after the Special Tribunal ordered they must pay back R4.5m they allegedly defrauded from the Gauteng department of health.

The implicated official is Nosipho Zibani, with her sister Phindile Zibani and their associate Yolanda Tebogo Hlatshwayo.

They face a criminal investigation after judge Lebogang Modiba ordered law enforcement should investigate them for the case.

The incidents date back to between 2016 and 2017 when Nosipho is alleged to have created “fictitious and bogus” medico-legal claims to defraud the Gauteng health department.

Modiba handed down the judgment as a default judgment after the defendants either failed to file an answering affidavit or fully comply with the court.

“Hlatshwayo did not file a notice of intention to defend. For this reason, she was effectively barred from defending these proceedings in terms of rule 13(3). The Zibani defendants filed their notice of intention to defend but failed to file their plea. They, too, became effectively barred from defending these proceedings in terms of the same rule,” Modiba said in her judgment.

She ordered that the defendants pay for the costs of the proceedings.

She declared that Nosipho’s pension benefits held with the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF), which were preserved in terms of the Tribunal’s order granted on October 10 2020, be forfeited to the Gauteng health MEC to the extent of her indebtedness.

“The GEPF and its administrators shall pay over to the MEC Nosipho’s pension benefits to satisfy the judgment debt in terms of this order,” she said.

Modiba also ordered that Nosipho, who is an admitted attorney, should be investigated by the Legal Practice Council.

She referred Hlatshwayo to the SA Nursing Council for its attention and investigation.

“The registrar of the tribunal is directed to send a copy of the papers filed in the preservation application, the preservation order, the trial and this judgment to the appropriate law enforcement agency for criminal investigation and action against all the defendants.”

TimesLIVE


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