Municipal clerk charged in cheque theft case

2007-12-12 00:00

A CITY council clerk in the human resources department was arrested and charged with theft of cheques yesterday following the court appearance of Sibusiso Sithole and Ishmail Ashraf Alli Omarjee at the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s court on Monday on charges of defrauding the municipality.

Msunduzi manager Rob Haswell has confirmed that the two men are not employees of the municipality, but said he believes that employees of the council are implicated in the cheque fraud.

Haswell said the municipality became aware of the possible theft and fraudulent cashing of municipal cheques last Friday and reported the matter to the police.

“Following the arrest and charging of two private individuals, the [police] have today arrested a council employee, and charged her with the theft of cheques,” said Haswell.

The clerk has been suspended from work and barred from entering any municipal office. At this stage, the exact number of cheques, and whether any other municipal employee is involved, is unclear.

Haswell said he hopes the arrest of the employee will serve as a severe warning that corruption will not be tolerated at the municipality and will be rooted out wherever it occurs.

Omarjee and Sithole allegedly deposited the cheques, for undisclosed amounts, into various accounts.

Senior Superintendent Henry Budhram refused to disclose further details as an investigation is ongoing.

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