Ex-accountant admits guilt 'to a certain degree'

2014-09-18 08:20

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Cape Town - An accountant accused of embezzling at the Raya Hotel Group - owners of the Capetonian Hotel in Cape Town and the Balmoral Hotel in Durban - admitted guilt "to a certain degree" when she appeared in the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crime Court on Wednesday.

Mymona Creighton, 31, appeared before magistrate Sabrina Sonnenberg, and pleaded not guilty on 234 counts of fraud involving R9 687 677.

She also pleaded not guilty to one charge of money laundering.

"I do not deny the fraud, and to a certain extent I am guilty, but the entire blame has been passed on to me and that's not true," Creighton told the court.

She said she was charged last year, "just after I [Creighton] had been sequestrated and received a summons in a civil claim".

Creighton conducted her own defence and the magistrate took pains to explain the procedures to her.

She initially elected not to testify, but changed her mind after the magistrate explained the importance of it to her.

Creighton told the court her former husband had started a business that struggled financially, and made her responsible for the payment of salaries and household expenses.

The magistrate said her testimony amounted to mitigation of sentence, but that Creighton had not yet been found guilty and she was required to testify on the merits of the charges instead.

Nevertheless, Creighton said she had been in a protracted abusive relationship with her former husband.

She added: "I didn't have the heart to get rid of the people in my husband's employ, and I couldn't cope because all the purchases were in my name.

"Things got really out of hand."

Creighton said she was not trying to blame her husband and "should have been stronger and opted out".

Creighton started with the hotel group 10 years ago as the assistant to the accountant and seven years later was promoted to the post of accountant.

She was based at the head office in Cape Town.

The case continues on 25 September.

Read more on:    cape town  |  crime

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