Bogus doctor gets six years

Dudu Busani

Dudu Busani

Disgraced reflexologist Hilda Khoza will spend the next six years in jail.

Khoza was convicted on 143 counts of fraud and sentenced to an effective six years behind bars by the Johannesburg magistrate's court yesterday.

Before her arrest in 2005, Khoza had defrauded an estimated R500000 from 20 medical aid schemes. She posed as a doctor and used a false Medscheme practice number to claim money for her patients' treatment.

Passing sentence yesterday, Magistrate Paul du Plessis lambasted Khoza, saying her fraudulent actions undermined the entire fabric of society.

"It is worse when this is done by professional people, the same people the society looks up to. Defrauding a medical aid scheme affects all members who contribute to schemes because as a result, the premium prices go up," said Du Plessis.

Khoza had originally been charged with 370 counts but was in the end convicted for only those that related to state witnesses who were available to testify.

In the 143 counts, she was sentenced to a year each for the first six. For the remaining 137, she was sentenced to 10 days for each, amounting to nine years.

But, of the nine years, five are suspended and the remaining four are now ineffective as the sentence is backdated to the day she was arrested, three years ago.

Khoza was in the spotlight eight years ago with her infamous comment when she claimed that child activist Nkosi Johnson did not have Aids but was suffering from constipation.

She claimed Johnson was well enough to attend school - three days before the child died.