An Eastern Cape policeman and another man have been arrested for allegedly trying to defraud the Road Accident Fund of almost R5 million.
Shedding light on the arrest, the Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigations (known as the Hawks) said their East London branch arrested Warrant Officer Mandlenkosi Njekanye, 50, and 45-year-old Xolani Somtsewu on Wednesday.
Njekanye is attached to Komga Community Service Centre.
Explaining the details leading up the arrest, Hawks spokesperson Captain Yolisa Mgolodela said that on December 31, 2020, Somtsewu was travelling on the N2 Highway in Komga in East London when he was involved in an accident.
“The passenger who was with him during the accident is reported to have died on the scene, while Somtsewu sustained a broken right arm and a few minor cuts and bruises on his body.”
Mgolodela said a police official who was on duty and attended to the accident scene said the cause of the accident was attributed to a tyre burst and a culpable homicide docket was opened.
“However it is alleged almost a year after the accident, in October 2021, Warrant Officer Njekanye accompanied by Somtsewu went to Komga police station where they instructed the police official on duty to change the accident report (AR) to enable Somtsewu to claim from the Road Accident Fund,” Mgolodela said.
“It is alleged the police official on duty is reported to have first refused to conform to the instruction but ultimately agreed due to coercion.”
Somtsewu lodged a claim with the RAF thereafter.
“The Road Accident Fund found discrepancies with the cause of the accident from the driver and the deceased’s family; where the deceased family attributed it to a tyre burst, whereas Somtsewu in his new version reportedly attributed it to avoiding a collision with the oncoming vehicle.”
Based on this they rejected the claim and referred the matter to the Hawks.
“The investigations by the Hawks revealed that RAF was nearly prejudiced cash to the value of more than R5 million, hence the arrest.”
The duo appeared in East London Magistrate’s Court on the day of their arrest and were released on R500 bail.
The matter was adjourned to December 6.