UCT cracks down on white-collar crime

27 February 2006

Don't even think about stealing money from UCT. You will be caught.

This is the message from the UCT audit committee after several cases of fraud and theft came to light on campus last year.

The most significant of these was the dismissal of a cashier who allegedly defrauded UCT of around R1-million over a period of three years by manipulating the fees payment system.

The cashier, who had worked at UCT for over a decade, was dismissed in May last year after she admitted to taking the money. Charges have been laid and a civil claim is being made against her.

The fraud was uncovered by the internal audit team who were doing a routine check and came across anomalies after sifting through hundreds of receipts.

Also last year:

Melanie Adams was successfully prosecuted after she stole R32 740 by forging order forms that paid money directly into her account. In April last year she was sentenced in the Wynberg Magistrate's Court to 200 hours of community service and house arrest, and has to pay back the money over a period of five years.

Juliet Louw, a clerk in the fees office, was sentenced in the wynberg Magistrate's court to a two-year prison term, suspended for four years, in February last year for stealing R24 100. her sentence was suspended on condition she pays the money back to UCT in R1 000 instalments.

Nozipho Sikawuti-Duba, a former employee of the Undergraduate Financial Aid Office, appeared in the Wynberg Magistrate's court on January 30 this year on several fraud charges. This is after she allegedly made out cash refund vouchers to the tune of R127 050 to two students who repaid her with half the cash. She will reappear in court on March 3. She was dismissed from UCT in December 2005.

A maintenance manager with the Properties and Services Department was dismissed in December 2004 after he admitted that his rent, an amount of R100 000, had been paid for by a company contracted to do a large amount of maintenance work at UCT. The money was recovered from his pension payout. charges are being pursued.

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