Dispute with medical aid results in another legal wrangle
A law student faces a charge of fraud after he allegedly forged a judge's signature on a fake court order in an attempt to secure a quarter-of-a-million rand payout
The Eastern Cape judge has now lambasted the actions of the second-year Unisa student in documents before the East London High Court.
In addition, complaints have been filed with the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Cape Law Society.
Documents confirming the matter is under investigation are before court.
Sonwabile Mtongana is alleged to have drawn up the fake draft order, signed it without the judge’s knowledge, and filed it with the East London High Court last week.
The draft order was then sent to Grahamstown, where it was made an official order of court. A copy was accordingly sent to the Sheriff to execute.
Mtongana yesterday denied the allegations.
It is alleged that he tried to crook the system after Judge Jean Nepgen refused to hear his aunt’s case on an urgent basis.
Mtongana’s aunt, Mavis Mtongana , was claiming R200,000 from Bonitus Medical Fund, in a matter dating back to 2007.
Mtongana wanted the matter to be dealt with on an urgent basis, however, Nepgen said there were no sufficient grounds to do so.
It is alleged that Mtongana then drew up a draft order and signed it unbeknown to the judge. In a statement before court, Nepgen said Mtongana went as far as to meet him in chambers.
He claimed he was employed at Ndzamela Attorneys in Mthatha, however, when contacted yesterday, owner Freeborn Ndzamela said the youngster was merely an intern with the firm.
In court documents before the court, Nepgen denies granting the order. He said the signature on the legal document looked nothing like his.
The draft order allegedly drawn up by Mtongana states: “Having read documents filed of record and hearing the applicant, it is ordered that the matter be treated as one of urgency”.
It further instructs the respondents, which includes the Sheriff of the court, and Bonitus, to show cause by June 26 why the order should not be made final. The respondents are further instructed to pay up more than R200000 and foot the costs of the application, which includes travelling and accommodation expenses.
“What occurred in this matter is something which causes great concern,” Nepgen said.
The fake court order was discovered last week when the court registrar noticed that the order did not match the instructions on the front of the court file, which is usually filled in by the presiding judge.
A case of fraud was opened with the Commercial Crimes Unit and is currently under investigation.