Tebogo Msimanga |
A 41-year-old Mantladi Jo-Anne Mmela appeared before the Middelburg Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, 21 September 2022 after she was arrested by the Middelburg-based Hawks’ Serious Commercial Crime Investigation on Tuesday, 20 September 2022 for fraud and theft of payment from the Road Accident Fund (RAF).
It is alleged that during May 2021, the complainant appointed Mmela and Associates Inc in Middelburg to assist in claiming road accident funds on behalf of his minor child who was involved in a serious accident. The attorney, Mmela submitted a successful claim.
Mpumalanga Hawks Spokesperson Captain Dineo Sekgotodi said on 8 May 2022, the amount of R1.8 million was paid into the trust account of Mmela and Associates Inc. The attorney did not pay out the money received to the client, instead, she created a false reference as if the money was paid over to the complainant.
“The complainant was informed that money was indeed paid to the trust account. He further made enquiries with the law firm and Mmela was notified about the demand. She promised that she will make the payment to the complainant but she did not do as promised then she left for Pretoria”.
Sekgodi said the matter was reported to the Hawks in January 2022 for further investigation. “During the investigation, it was revealed that the attorney transferred the money into another bank account. A warrant of arrest was authorized and executed hence her arrest from her hiding place in Pretoria”.
The accused was released on R25 000 bail on the condition that she hand over her travelling documents. The case is postponed to 5 December 2022 for a possible pre-trial and representation hearing.