Headmaster arrested for corruption

Suspect granted bail

05 December 2019 | Crime

Walter Kurz;ACC, Erongo region; “This expenditure … was never committed but was found to be misappropriated.”

Swakopmund

A 39-year old former headmaster of Vrede Rede Primary School, Lizette Hedwig Fisher-Lucas, was arrested on a charge of theft after she allegedly misused her position and office for her own gratification.

According to a statement by the Anti-Corruption Commission’s (ACC) Erongo chief investigating officer, Walter Kurz, the suspect appeared in the Swakopmund magistrate court on 2 December and was granted bail of N$1 000 after the ACC finalized an investigation against her for allegedly contravening Section 75(1) (a) read with sec 75 (2) of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977.

The investigation focused on the suspect’s alleged corrupt use of her position and office for gratification.

The investigation was prompted by an internal audit conducted and findings presented by the Education Directorate of the Erongo Regional Council during January 2018 and December 2018.

“The ACC concluded and in general confirms that the suspect who was appointed in 2018 to perform duties and responsibilities as the headmaster at Vrede Rede Primary School, allegedly directly and corruptly used her office and position in a public body to obtain a gratification for herself by fraudulently and corruptly using the school fund to the amount of N$21 792.30 for her own use,” Kurz said.

He added that the ACC’s investigations could only gather facts to prove that an amount of N$17 366 was committed as received by the school secretary and which was handed over and placed in the school safe situated in the headmaster’s office.

“This expenditure for the prefect camping weekend, ties, waist coats, reports and tuck shop rent was never committed, but was found to be misappropriated. The ACC could not find facts or evidence to prove how the difference in the amount of N$3 426.30 was spent or misappropriated.”

He also said that during an internal audit by accountants attached to the Erongo Regional Council, it was determined that N$21 792.30 had been recorded as a shortfall.

In the report it was recommended that Fisher-Lucas be held accountable for the shortfall, that she be charged departmentally and that the amount of N$21 792. 30 be paid back to the State by her.

The investigating officer was of the opinion that there is sufficient evidence to recommend that Fisher-Lucas be charged with contravening section 43(1) (2) of the Anti-Corruption Act 8 of 2003.

The case docket was forwarded to the Office of the Prosecutor-General where it was decided that the accused be arraigned in the Swakopmund magistrates court on the charges of one count of theft and another count on theft of general deficiency.

The matter was postponed until 20 January 2020 for legal aid.

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