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Man says law firm and bank are setting him up for fraud over accident payout

By unknown | 2007-05-02 00:00:00.0

Bafana Ntshingila is so frustrated he even thinks First National Bank (FNB) and his attorneys are setting him up for fraud instead of paying him his road accident claim.

Bafana Ntshingila is so frustrated he even thinks First National Bank (FNB) and his attorneys are setting him up for fraud instead of paying him his road accident claim.

Ntshingila says he was injured in a car accident in November 1993.

He successfully lodged a claim through his attorneys, Raphael and David Smith, but before he received his compensation, he was arrested for attempted murder.

He stood trial and was sentenced to 10 years in jail.

In 2005 he enlisted the help of the Employment Advisory Services, who traced Raphael and David Smith to their new offices in Randburg.

The attorneys told the advisory services that Ntshingila's file had probably been destroyed.

It was only after Consumer Line intervened that the attorneys located Ntshingila's file.

However, they said not only was Ntshingila a violent criminal convicted of attempted murder, but he was also a fraudster.

The law firm said Ntshingila had been paid his compensation three days after the Road Accident Fund settled his claim in 1995.

However, they said the fund had made an error in printing the law firm's account number instead of its own account number.

Stephen Higgins of First National Bank also said the fund had paid Ntshingila's compensation directly into his account and not into his attorneys' account.

He said Ntshingila had withdrawn his money regularly until his account became dormant in 2002.

It was then transferred from his branch at Rissik Street in Johannesburg to the bank's head office accounts division.

"We will re-open the account with its credit balance, but request that Ntshingila present the relevant documentation, such as a savings book or statement and ID book, to the customer relationship manager at the branch," said Higgins.

When Sowetan delivered the news to him, a sceptical Ntshingila said FNB and his attorneys were trying to set him up for fraud.

"I do not know this account," he said.

"I never opened an account at Rissik Street as FNB claims, and I cannot understand why would the road accident fund pay the compensation directly into my account, but use my attorneys' name.

"If the fund paid the compensation into my so-called FNB account, why would they also pay the same claim into my attorneys' account?"

He said he would not take Higgins' instructions to withdraw money from an account that was not his, but would seek advice from the Law Society of the Northern Transvaal and the Banking Ombudsman.

In the past two months, the road accident fund has not responded to our inquiries about Ntshingila's claims .

Higgins also promised to clarify how the confusion about Ntshingila having an account at their Rissik Street branch had occurred, but had failed to do so by the second week of March.

Meanwhile, the Law Society of The Northern Transvaal said it would consider looking into Ntshingila's case.