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A former state attorney official is alleged to have created 'fictitious and bogus' medico-legal claims to defraud the Gauteng health department. Picture: OLIVIER LE MOAL/123RF
A former state attorney official is alleged to have created 'fictitious and bogus' medico-legal claims to defraud the Gauteng health department. Picture: OLIVIER LE MOAL/123RF

A special tribunal has ordered a former state attorney official, a member of her family and an associate to pay back R4.5m they allegedly defrauded from the Gauteng department of health.

Nosipho Zibani, her sister Phindile Zibani and their associate Yolanda Tebogo Hlatshwayo face now face a criminal investigation after judge Lebogang Modiba ordered an investigation by law enforcement officials.

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.

The defendants failed to file an answering affidavit or fully comply with the court, meaning Modiba’s ruling is a default judgment.

“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),” Modiba said. “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 ordered that the defendants pay the costs of the proceedings and that Zibani’s pension benefits be forfeited to the Gauteng health MEC to the extent of her indebtedness. The benefits had been held with the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF), which were preserved in terms of the Tribunal’s order granted on October 10 2020.

The judge also ordered that Nosipho, who is an admitted attorney, be investigated by the Legal Practice Council, and referred Hlatshwayo to the SA Nursing Council for 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,” Modiba said.

TimesLIVE

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