Thief hid record from employers

2013-05-10 07:28

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Cape Town - A woman convicted of stealing more than R2m while working at a provincial hospital in Paarl did not disclose her previous convictions when applying for her position, the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in Bellville heard on Thursday.

Janine Anthony is to be sentenced on 15 May by Magistrate Sabrina Sonnenberg for stealing R2.4m from the hospital over a period of four years.

Provincial department of health official Andre Cornelisen told the court that Anthony first had a contract post at the Stellenbosch provincial hospital, before her permanent appointment. Anthony was then appointed to a senior post at the Paarl hospital.

When Cornelisen was questioned by prosecutor Derek Vogel, he said all three appointments involved applications for the posts.

He said Anthony had to disclose in each application whether she had any criminal convictions. In all three applications, she had failed to disclose that she did have a criminal record, Cornelisen said.

House arrested recommended

In her application for a contract post, Anthony had falsely answered no to the question of whether she had any criminal convictions, he said. In the second application, for a permanent post, she had answered neither yes or no, and in the third, for the senior post in Paarl, her answer had again been no.

Despite Cornelisen's testimony, welfare official Chantelle Chandler, called by the defence, recommended a sentence of house arrest, without imprisonment. Vogel said such a sentence would send out the wrong message to the community, and that only a prison sentence would be appropriate, considering the amount.

Chandler replied: "My job is to look at the case objectively." She said Anthony had three children who needed their mother's care. She had asked Anthony what she did with the stolen money.

"The accused said she used it to support her children, who at the time were staying with their grandmother," Chandler said.

Chandler said she asked Anthony if she had used any of the money to buy cars or a house, and she had said no. Asked by the magistrate if she believed Anthony about this, she replied: "Yes."

Chandler said she had not consulted other sources to verify what Anthony told her, and had merely written in her report what Anthony had said to her.
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