6 November 2018

Namibia: Windhoek School Fires Manager Over N$2,8m Fraud

A FINANCE manager at the Windhoek International School was fired last week after allegedly defrauding the school of N$2,8 million.

The manager, whose name is known to The Namibian, had been in that position for less than a year.

School board chairperson Matthew Black confirmed in a statement on Friday that N$200 000 has been recovered so far, and that it is believed the suspect was working alone.

According to Black, the contract of the finance manager has been terminated, and the suspect was escorted off the school grounds.

"The school sought legal advice on the most prudent next steps, and will continue to do so with the dual aims of securing justice and seeking the maximum recovery of the lost funds," he stated.

In the letter, Black reassured the parents and staff that the amount stolen will not affect the financial stability of the school, and therefore will bring no additional fee increases, nor will any staff be dismissed.

"Although it is true that this incident has reduced the school's cash reserves, the board resolved that the recently approved developmental plans for the school are still viable, and will go ahead as planned," the school board wrote.

Black said the board had implemented additional short-term safeguards, and a review of the school's internal controls is underway.

"While we do not underestimate the gravity of the alleged fraud, we are resolved to move forward as a united institution," the statement added.

The letter stated that the alleged fraud had been fully reported to the authorities, and any decision on criminal proceedings is now in the hands of the police. Police spokesperson chief inspector Kauna Shikwambi confirmed the incident on Sunday.

"There was a case of fraud opened by the school. However, I am unaware if the person was arrested or not," she said.

Questions sent to the principal were unanswered by the time of going to print.

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