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MBABANE – A former bursar at the prestigious Sifundzani Primary School in Mbabane is accused of having defrauded the institution a sum E506 577.79.

Priscilla Katelue, who had worked for the school for a period of 14 years, was dismissed from work after she was found guilty of three counts of fraud by a chairman of her disciplinary hearing.
A forensic audit revealed that there was sufficient evidence to suggest that fraud had been taking place for a long time even though audits had been carried out in the school without indicating that such deception was taking place.


Her alleged modus operadi was that she would use the school funds to pay for various items from different retailers under the guise that they were for the school, but would later fetch them for her personal use.  The items include a Whirpool washing machine worth E5 000 and a 49’ LCD television set worth E9 000, among others. All these items, according to the forensic report, were never delivered to the school.
Katelue is also said to have used the school’s account to purchase paint brush, pains, turpentine and flower posts worth E3 971.85. Again these items were reportedly not delivered to the school.
The audit report has been annexed to court papers and now forms part of evidence against the former bursar.

According to the forensic audit that was conducted by Altersol Consulting Limited, from January 2017, Kateule received cash from the pupils’ parents which was against the school’s policy.
During the forensic audit, the chairperson of the school Finance Committee reportedly disclosed that Kateule was advised on numerous occasions never to receive cash and to advise all parents to deposit cash straight into the school’s bank account held at Standard Bank.

The auditors found that there was no evidence of banking of cash for school fees despite being received by Katelue.
“Information received from interviewees, including the chairperson of the Finance Committee, the acting accounts clerk (primary school) and accounts clerk, indicate that the bursar would say the amounts received in cash are then used to finance the school’s operation as ‘petty cash’ since getting signature for petty cash replenishment was sometimes difficult as signatories were employed professionals or businesspeople,” reads part of the forensic audit report.


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