Prominent Road Accident Fund lawyer on R80,000 bail after arrest in hotel
Prominent Eastern Cape lawyer Zuko Nonxuba, who has been involved in a number of medico-legal and Road Accident Fund cases, has been released on R80,000 bail after appearing in court on allegations of fraud.
The 46-year-old appeared at the Mthatha Magistrate's Court in the Eastern Cape on Thursday.
"Nonxuba was arrested by the Hawks's Mthatha serious commercial crime investigators at a local hotel on Wednesday when they executed a warrant for his arrest following allegations that he submitted false claims to the department of health amounting to approximately R30m," said Hawks spokesperson Brig Hangwani Mulaudzi.
"It is alleged that in 2013 and 2016, Nonxuba claimed exorbitant funds on behalf of supposed mothers, claiming that they gave birth to children who suffered severe injuries due to apparent negligence by hospital staff."
Mulaudzi said investigations were ongoing to establish if there was any involvement by Nonxuba in similar matters in other parts of the country.
TimesLIVE reported on Wednesday that beneficiaries of claims handled by the lawyer had to fight tooth and nail to get their money and were allegedly overcharged.
A health department official, who wanted to remain anonymous, told TimesLIVE: "The cases involved millions of rands, and we suspect other arrests will follow."
In 2017 the lawyer effectively conceded in court that he had overcharged a severely disabled client to the tune of more than R4m, which he later agreed to pay back. In this case he took R5.7m of his client’s R9.1m. The money was paid out by the health department and the Road Accident Fund (RAF) in two separate claims.
The Daily Dispatch reported that it allegedly took more than three years of threats, reports to the Law Society and expensive high court litigation to get the lawyer to pay his paraplegic former client.