Suspected crooked electrician gets new lawyer

2015-04-28 15:20
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Cape Town – A new legal aid lawyer is to represent an electrician who allegedly put in false claims for work done at two Western Cape schools.

Odwa Owen Nxuseka, 43, of the Mfuleni township on the Cape Flats, appeared in the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crime Court, before magistrate Sabrina Sonnenberg, on Tuesday.

The magistrate told Nxuseka that his previous legal aid lawyer, Hayley Lawrence, was no longer available, and that another lawyer would take over the case.

The court would have been presented with a plea-bargain agreement on Tuesday, which would have finalised the matter, but the new lawyer needed time to peruse the agreement and consult Nxuseka about it.

Lawrence’s absence was not explained during the proceedings.

According to the charge sheet, the Western Cape provincial education department appointed Nxuseka’s business, Ono Electrical and Maintenance Services CC, to do emergency repairs at the Disa Primary School in Bishop Lavis, on the Cape Flats, where Andrew James is the principal, and at the Elswood Secondary School at Elsies River, where Terrence Hillburgh was the principal at the time.

Forged signatures

Although Nxuseka started the work at both schools, between May and July, 2012, prosecutor Simone Liedeman alleges that he failed to complete the jobs.

However, he forged the respective principals’ signatures on each invoice, and submitted the invoices to the education department for payment.

The forged signatures, together with the respective school’s date stamp on each invoice, gave the false impression that the work had been completed satisfactorily, the prosecutor alleges.

As a result, the education department authorised payment of R80 000 for the work “completed” at Elswood, and R136 278 for the work "completed" at Dias.

Nxuseka faces two counts of fraud, two of forgery and two of uttering (the presentation of) a forged document.

He was warned to return to court again on April 30.

Read more on:    cape town  |  crime

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