The net is closing in on lawyers who are allegedly swindling hundreds of millions from the Eastern Cape Department of Health and the Road Accident Fund. A Daily Dispatch says Zuko Nonxuba and Milile Mpambaniso are among the attorneys who have lodged millions of rands worth of claims on behalf of victims, some of whom are apparently not even aware of the claims.

Late last year the Hawks confirmed they were investigating three of Nonxuba’s medico-legal claims totalling R45m. The Western Cape Department of Health has taken legal action against Nonxuba and lodged a complaint against him with the provincial law society.

The action concerns 33 cases flagged as possibly ‘vexatious and fraudulent’ birth injury claims.

The total claimed from the Western Cape Health Department – including withdrawn cases – summons and letters of demand, is R750m. The report adds in 2016 Mpambaniso was struck off the roll after he was convicted of 28 counts of fraud. Now the state is clamping down.

The Hawks’ Special Investigative Unit confirmed it was working with the department on the claims. The department has paid out R254m to Nonxuba Attorneys and R20m to Mpambaniso Attorneys since 2009.

In 2017 the department appointed a consortium of attorneys to probe the claims. They found most of them were fraudulent. ‘The department is in the process of seeking punitive cost orders against them, since we are aware that they are acting on contingency and with a number of claims that have been found to be without authority. Their antics are now known to the department,’ a health spokesperson said.

Full Daily Dispatch report (subscription needed)