Bonitas principal officer Bafana Nkosi has left the ship while the fund, the third largest in South Africa, is contesting the application for curatorship by the Council for Medical Schemes (CMS).
A fortnight ago the CMS lodged an urgent application with the South Gauteng High Court to have Bonitas placed under curatorship because of alleged mismanagement. The CMS has been investigating the fund since last year, following allegations that Bonitas invested some R80m of members' funds in property developments.
Allegations - such as financial support having been given by courier company Pharmacy Direct to ensure that certain trustees were elected, and that the fund's administrator, Medscheme, had not properly investigated payments - surfaced in the CMS's court papers.
Certain irregularities are directly related to Nkosi. Among other things, it is alleged that his handling of property investments was negligent, that he approved payments for which he had no authority, and that he overpaid a family member who served as a property project leader for the fund.
Bonitas chief executive Gerhard van Emmenis told Sake24 that Nkosi had resigned.
Craig Burton-Durham, the acting registrar of medical funds, recommended that Molokomme Joseph Maluleke, from attorneys Rooth Wessels Motla Conradie, be appointed as director. He will then replace the board of trustees and manage the fund until new trustees are identified.
According to the court papers it appears from the CMS's investigation that the Bonitas trustees neglected their responsibilities in the fund's financial management.
- (Letitia Watson/Fin24.com, February 2010)
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