doc raided for fraud

A prominent Pretoria doctor is under investigation for defrauding the government of millions of rands.

The 36-year-old doctor, whose name is known to Sowetan, had his houses and businesses raided by the Hawks and other police units on Friday.

The doctor and two officials of the Department of Labour's compensation commission allegedly defrauded the government of R60 million by submitting false claims.

Eight properties belonging to the popular doctor and the two officials were raided as part of the investigation.

The raids were conducted by the Hawks' Pretoria unit and the Kempton Park, Vaal, Johannesburg and West Rand organised crime units as well as officials from the department.

The investigation started in 2008. A laptop, two cellphones, thousands of patients' files and bank statements were confiscated from the doctor's two posh houses and three surgeries.

The two houses are situated in the Pretoria suburbs of Montana and the Heather View Estate in Nina Park, while two surgeries are in Lethlabile in Brits and another in Teresa Park in Pretoria North.

Police also searched the home of the doctor's sister in Block VV in Soshanguve.

They then moved on to the homes of the labour officials in Kwaggasrand, Pretoria West and Chantelle in Akasia, where they seized numerous claim forms and a rubber stamp belonging to the compensation commission.

Captain Paul Ramaloko of the Hawks said the three had not yet been arrested but the evidence seized would be analysed and presented to the Pretoria magistrate court for a decision.

"They allegedly submitted medical claims of bogus patients and as a result, between June and October 2009 alone, they were paid a total of R12 million," Ramaloko said.

The doctor allegedly claimed that he treated more than 80 patients a day, at a consultation fee of R150 a person. He claimed he spent five to seven minutes with each patient without taking a break for 12 hours from 9am until 9pm daily. His fleet of cars included among others, a Mini Cooper and four BMWs.