Disgraced teacher sentenced
Cape Town - A school teacher suffering from cancer was on Monday given a suspended six-month jail sentence by a Cape Town court for fraud relating to false insurance claims.
Valerie Naidoo appeared in the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crime Court, where Magistrate Amrith Chabilall described her conduct as a "disgrace".
"When you get back to your teaching post, the court urges you to teach the children right from wrong, and to use your own personal conduct as an example," the magistrate said.
"Do not tell the children to do as they are told - rather say do as I do."
Naidoo pleaded guilty, and said it all started with a legitimate insurance claim after her home was burgled.
At the time, she obtained personal loans to assist a family engineering business in financial difficulties.
While obtaining loans, she realised it would be easier to generate funds by making false insurance claims, with three different short-term companies that paid out cash the moment a claim was received.
Chabilall told her: "You committed the fraud while you had a job teaching our children the correct values. That is disgraceful conduct."
He said she had gone to the trouble of taking out insurance with several companies, and had gone to different police stations to falsely report burglaries.
All that had saved Naidoo from a jail sentence were her health and the fact that only R8 000 was involved, the magistrate said.