Probe into SA State Theatre employees after funds disappear
The South African State Theatre (SAST) in Pretoria has been rocked by a fraud scandal.
It has emerged that some employees have been helping themselves in the institution’s funds for five years.
According to a letter dated January 31 that was sent to the staff and that Sowetanlive has seen, the alleged fraud was discovered following a rigorous undercover investigation. According to the email, those who committed the criminal act deliberately framed others and apparently used to boast that they were not worried about being caught because the CFO and CEO have signed off everything.
SAST CEO Dr Sibongiseni Mkhize further explained in the email that SAST has opened a criminal case with the SAPS while one employee has been suspended.
“While I am devastated by the fact that it took long for the fraud to be uncovered, I am comforted by the fact that the bank records have provided the details of the individuals (s), and the times and dates on which the fraud was committed. In addition to the information that is already available at our disposal, the bank will also be seeking more records from the other banks that were used in committing the fraud.”
Mkhize added that the matter was brought to their attention on December 10 by ABSA bank, indicating that a staff member at the finance department had tampered with payment documentation and the electronic banking system. “While the initial investigations have uncovered two officials, one at finance and another one at SCM, we have reason to believe that this is the work of a syndicate involving past and present SAST staff members, their families, friends, suppliers and some of the employees of our current and previous service providers.”
Mkhize said an employee who has since resigned has agreed to cooperate with the investigations.
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