Department finally sacks teacher in jail for fraud and forgery

2012-08-03 00:00

THE KZN Education Department has finally fired a woman who was receiving a salary while serving a six-year jail term for fraud and forgery.

Red tape prevented the department from stopping the salary of Thandokuhle Grace Ngcobo for the past four months. The Witness reported last month that Ngcobo was convicted in February.

Department spokesperson Sihle Mlotshwa said Ngcobo was fired after a disciplinary hearing held at Westville prison. “In terms of the disciplinary code she was given [until July 23] to decide whether she would appeal the sanction,” said Mlotshwa. She failed to appeal.

The department has provided conflicting explanations as to why it continued paying her.

In its first statement to The Witness, the department said it became aware of Ngcobo’s imprisonment in April. A second statement stated that the human resources department was notified only in May.

Ngcobo’s supervisor, Sangeet Sivnarain, had apparently submitted a letter to the acting director of human resources support services in April, asking that her salary be suspended, but was instructed to submit a memorandum.

In the same month Sivnarain submitted the same letter, not a memorandum as instructed, but this time to the employee relations director at provincial head office.

When she was arrested, Ngcobo was found in possession of several identity documents belonging to other people, with her photographs on them, as well as payslips belonging to some of her colleagues.

She used these to fraudulently open accounts at a number of retail outlets.

In 2011, Ngcobo started using Magwaza as her surname, but it is not clear whether it was one of her many aliases, among them Hlengiwe Zulu, Margaret Matyeni,Veronica Nxumalo, Ntombiziningi Madlala and N.G. Rangane.

Pietermaritzburg doctor Duduzile Makhoba confirmed that she had signed the sick notes that Ngcobo submitted to her workplace through a colleague while in police custody, but she refused to say whether she saw Ngcobo on the dates appearing on the notes.

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