The Road Accident Fund (RAF) has expressed its disappointment with the R60 000 fine given to an East London man found guilty of submitting a fraudulent RAF claim for R5m, reports the Pretoria News.

The RAF was concerned that the lenient sentence sent the wrong message to would-be fraudsters, spokesperson Mcintosh Polela said.

As reported last week, Tubalomthandazo Butshingi (32) was convicted and sentenced in the East London Magistrate’s court for misrepresenting information on the claim he submitted to the RAF.

He lied that he had fractured his ankle in a hit and run in September 2020.

However, the RAF’S Forensic Investigation Department and hospital records revealed he had slipped and fallen, and the case was referred to the Hawks.

Butshingi was given the option by the court of paying the fine or serving three years in prison. A further three years was suspended for five years on condition he was not convicted of fraud during that period.

According to the Pretoria News, Polela said that while the RAF would have preferred direct imprisonment to a fine, in order send a clear message to potential fraudsters, the fund respected the court’s decision.

He said fraud was endemic at the RAF, with R2.6bn worth of fraudulent claims stopped over the past three financial years after they were lodged for compensation.

‘Nonetheless, the RAF continues to fight corruption internally and externally, as it presents a significant risk to the fund’s assets, service delivery, efficiency and reputation.'

‘Perpetrators such as doctors, attorneys, RAF employees, road accident victims and employees of corporate companies who have access to road crash information, will continue to be arrested and prosecuted.’

Full Pretoria News report