The Eastern Cape Department of Health is investigating suspected fraud by attorneys in several medico-legal cases. Superintendent-general Dr Thobile Mbengashe is quoted in a Daily Dispatch report as saying they suspect that attorneys around the province are using his department to make easy cash.
“We think there is a lot of fraud with these cases against the department. So we are currently actively investigating potential fraud. That fraud comes up because the Road Accident Fund (RAF) has closed and now people (lawyers) think they can target the Department of Health,’ Mbengashe said.
Black Lawyers Association provincial president Bayethe Maswazi condemned Mbengashe’s accusations saying they are without cause. “This demonstrates a lack of understanding of the role of attorneys in society by the Department of Health. Instead of confronting the real problem, they seek to find a distraction on the part of the attorneys. There are problems within the department which are creating a breeding ground for these cases. Their problems have nothing to do with attorneys,” Maswazi said.
National Association of Democratic Lawyers president Mvuzo Notyesi said the Department of Health should not shift blame onto lawyers when they know their issues stem from maladministration and poor leadership.Daily Dispatch report