Tuesday, 3 October 2017

EAGLESVALE HEAD CHARGED WITH FRAUD

THE headmaster of Eaglesvale Senior School and the bursar appeared at the Harare Magistrates’ Court yesterday facing allegations of swindling the learning institution of more than $4 600 by falsifying cash-in-lieu of leave claims for non-teaching staff members.

Both the headmaster, Naison Tirivavi and bursar, Cheryl Botha, denied the charge when they appeared before magistrate Lucy Mungwari.

Botha told the court that at one point, her computer crushed after it was struck by lightning, but the State claimed the statement was meant to conceal the fraud she had perpetrated.

The court heard the duo allegedly defrauded the institution through making false payments for cash in lieu of leave days and in the process the school paid out a total of $307 000 in 2013.

A total of $4 600 was unaccounted for.

The school’s finance committee board member, Willard Gonde, yesterday took to the witness stand and told the court he had difficulties getting hard copies of the approved application leave forms from Botha.

“When I asked the accused (Botha) to give me the hard copies of the approved application leave forms, she claimed she was sick and needed to see a doctor. She later said her computer was not working after it was struck by lightning,” he said.

Gonde also said the school then hired an information technology expert, who disproved what Botha had claimed.

“The expert said nothing was wrong with the computer. She later printed a list of the names of the people she claimed had cashed their leave days,” he said.

“We hired a consultant to do a systems restore on Botha’s computer. The consultant came from Quantum Consultancy, who ran the systems we used to run our payroll systems.”

The pair is alleged to have raised fictitious leave application forms for cash in lieu for June 2011, which they would submit for authorisation before payments were made.

The matter only came to light during an internal audit, which revealed that the school had high employment costs.

Trial continues next Tuesday, with George Manokore representing the State. Newsday

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