KZN Blind and Deaf Society fires director after millions went missing on her watch

2019-03-05 15:30


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

The director of the KwaZulu-Natal Blind and Deaf Society, Shamilla Surjoo, has been fired after it emerged that millions of rands belonging to the organisation was embezzled on her watch.

Speaking to The Witness on Monday, president of the KwaZulu-Natal Blind and Deaf Society Justice Zak Yacoob said the organisation undertook disciplinary proceedings against Surjoo for “gross negligence”.

“We were not happy with the way in which she had done her work. She didn’t go into the payrolls properly and she did not supervise the financial officer properly,” said Yacoob.

At this stage, Yacoob said Surjoo is not implicated directly in the fraud but is facing disciplinary procedures for allegedly not having sufficient oversight and management controls in place to have prevented the fraud.

“As a full time director, she had the greater responsibility to keep watch of the account because it was her duty. We were not there full time, she was in full control and therefore must take responsibility for it.”

Yacoob said alarm bells were rung last January when R100 000 went missing from the account. Over a six-year period, an estimated R12 million was stolen. “Upon close inspection, we discovered that there was an online banking facility that was being used for illegal transactions,” said Yacoob.

He said the suspect was criminally charged, while the long-standing director of the organisation was served with a suspension letter last Wednesday.

The director’s disciplinary action is expected to be completed on Thursday.

Police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala confirmed they were investigating a case of fraud against a 27-year-old employee who had online authority for four of the organisation’s bank accounts and has been allegedly transferring funds into her personal accounts since 2013.

The scandal has forced Yacoob to voluntarily take over the reins from the director.

He said the organisation has no reserves and it was now trying to get more donations.

“We have got some good donations but if we work hard we can keep the society alive. There is no chance of any theft now. We have learned from our mistakes.”

Attempts to get hold of Surjoo on Monday were unsuccessful as her cell phone was switched off.


Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.