LSSA and RAF agree to cooperate in fighting corruption in the RAF claims process

November 1st, 2013
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By Barbara Whittle

At a high-level meeting in Centurion in September 2013, the Law Society of South Africa (LSSA) and the Road Accident Fund (RAF) committed to maintaining mutually beneficial relations to ensure that the best interests of road accident victims are served. In addition, both organisations agreed to root out fraud and corruption actively in the road accident claims process.

The meeting was initiated by the LSSA with a view to discussing matters of mutual interest and establishing channels for continuing communication and cooperation. LSSA Co-chairpersons, Kathleen Matolo-Dlepu and David Bekker, were accompanied by members of the LSSA’s Management Committee and directorate, and the RAF management team was joined by RAF board members Tondani Moyo and Jerry Masekoameng. RAF Chief Executive Officer, Dr Eugene Watson, outlined the state of his organisation and took the opportunity of highlighting its new structure, challenges and plans going into the future. He introduced the organisational flagship projects that include the Road Accident Benefit Scheme and ‘RAF on the Road’, as well as the customer services centres. He also emphasised the importance of the roles that these projects will play in improving claimants’ lives.

From the LSSA’s side, Mr Bekker stressed the importance of maintaining good relations between the two organisations and highlighted the significance of constant engagement on all matters of mutual interest. In addition, it was stressed that both organisations have a joint obligation to root out fraud and corruption, which has had dire consequences to the reputations of the RAF and attorneys’ profession.

In a joint press statement issued after the meeting, the LSSA and RAF indicated that a joint strategy to deal with criminal elements in and outside of both organisations should be considered. Both parties committed themselves to sharing information with each other promptly. Key areas of mutual concern such as fraud, delays in finalising claims, the accumulated backlog of both claims and bills of costs, underutilisation of undertakings issued for future medical treatment, and the costs associated with the finalisation of claims, were identified. Suggestions were tabled in order to improve delivery of compensation to claimants.

Compiled by Barbara Whittle, communication manager, Law Society of South Africa, barbara@lssa.org.za

 This article was first published in De Rebus in 2013 (Nov) DR 16.