hospital scam

Frank Maponya

Frank Maponya

An official at a government hospital in Mpumalanga has been making a killing by selling death certificates.

The administration clerk at Philadelphia Hospital in Dennilton allegedly demanded and received R400 to issue a receipt for a death certificate.

When police were tipped off by a family about the scam, they set a trap for the official.

According to Limpopo police spokesman Superintendent Mohale Ramatseba, the suspect was arrested at work on Monday afternoon.

Ramatseba said the 44-year-old official had been charging people R400 just to make out a receipt for them to apply for a death certificate from the Home Affairs Department.

He is expected to appear in the Dennilton magistrate's court today.

Director Daniel Moenyane, station commissioner for the Dennilton police, said some families went to the hospital on Monday to request for receipts to apply for death certificates.

He said another family which was waiting in the queue was surprised to see the clerk charging money for receipts.

When it was their turn to get a receipt, they refused to pay when the official allegedly told them it was standard procedure to charge for a receipt to apply for a death certificate.

According to Moenyane, the family informed the police.

Police set up a trap and the clerk was caught red-handed

"We made copies of the money the suspect allegedly required for the issuing of the receipts," Moenyane said.

He said they sent a plain-clothes female police detective to accompany the family.

"Other officers were watching from outside the suspect's office. As soon as the suspect had accepted the money and pocketed it, the police pounced on him," Moenyane said.

The suspect was to have appeared in court yesterday, but because of the number of people who were coming forward with information after hearing about the arrest, his appearance was delayed until today pending further charges.

Police have urged other people who have been defrauded to come forward.