Headmaster ‘interfered’ with fraud probe
Durban - The former Glenwood High School headmaster charged with R5 million fraud may have interfered with the State’s investigation, it was alleged in the Durban Commercial Crime Court on Thursday.
Prosecutor Wendy O’Brien told the magistrate, Judy Naidoo, that Trevor Kershaw may have broken one of his bail conditions and may have affected the State’s case by speaking to State witnesses.
When he first appeared in court in April, he was granted R100 000 bail with strict conditions that included reporting to the Westville police station twice a week; that he not enter the school, or speak to the staff or members of the school governing body; and that he hand over his UK and SA passports to authorities.
The State alleges that irregular expenditure was discovered at the high school after a forensic investigation revealed a total of 1 577 irregular payments to the value of just more than R5m had allegedly been paid to Kershaw over the period from January 2007 to December last year.
Kershaw had apparently notified the Department of Education of his resignation in December and informed the governing body in January.
It is further alleged, based on the forensic investigation, that “Kershaw was evading tax on his remuneration by submitting falsified claims under the misrepresentation that they represented school expenses”.
O’Brien said she intended to bring an application to revoke Kershaw’s bail and an application to cancel it, but reserved the right to do so because the State was still investigating these allegations.
The State asked for an adjournment until October 19.
Kershaw’s attorney, Carl van der Merwe, was given a CD containing 20 000 to 25 000 pages of State documents and also required time to go through it.
Provincial Department of Education spokesman, Muzi Mahlambi, said the department was also conducting its own investigation.
“We are not relying on the court outcome. We are investigating and would be taking our own action, pending the outcome of the investigation,” he said.
On whether the department could take any action against an employee who had since resigned, Mahlambi said the department could decline or accept the resignation and could also freeze the funds due to that employee.
“So we still have a hold. The person would not be totally off the hook,” he said.