Bank clerk defrauds drummer

Johannesburg - Legendary drummer Ginger Baker was taken to the cleaners after showering a pretty bank clerk with gifts, the Sunday Times reported on Sunday.

Lindiwe Noko, a bank clerk is accused of siphoning off half a million rand from Baker's bank account, the Paarl Regional Court heard.

Baker, 69, lives in Tulbagh. He is best known for performing in the band Cream with Eric Clapton.

The court heard how Baker paid for an operation to remove a lump from Noko's eye - turning her into a stunner.

She looked "beautiful" afterwards, he told the court.

The two met at the local First National Bank where he was a client and she was an employee, the newspaper reported.

He was taken by the "intelligent" youngster and asked her to work for him after hours - doing his personal banking and administration.

Now she stands accused of conning the rocker out of more than R420 000 in just eight months.

He paid her R100 a day, and rewarded her with perks that included a digital camera, a surround-sound system valued at more than R15 000 and groceries.

Noko once accompanied him on a trip to the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town - he offered to buy her a ring bearing her birth stone as a birthday present.

But she settled for a diamond ring worth close to R50 000.

Brand new Golf GTi

Last year, Baker became suspicious when he noticed R8 500 had mysteriously been withdrawn from his account. The withdrawal did not reflect when he logged into his internet banking.

He also discovered that R295 000 had been withdrawn - he sent an SMS to Noko who begged him not to report her. She had used the money to buy a brand new Golf GTi.

Police found that she had transferred Baker's money to her account. Noko had reportedly deactivated the bank's iContact service - which notifies clients by SMS and email about account activity.

Noko faced 27 counts of fraud, alternatively theft. She pleaded not guilty, the Sunday Times reported.

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