Rhodes University swindled out of nearly R500,000 by staff member

Rhodes University swindled out of nearly R500,000 by staff member

Rhodes University was swindled out of almost R500,000 by a staff member entrusted with doing its books.

The Hawks said the university’s former financial administrator Wendy Zimasa Xabiya was convicted of the crime this week after it was found she stole R480,000.

“The Gqeberha commercial crimes court convicted [her] of numerous counts of forgery, fraud, money laundering and contravention of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act on Thursday,” said Hawks spokesperson Capt Yolisa Mgolodela.

“During the period between January 1 2017 and December 1 2018, Xabiya [was] employed as finance administrator at Rhodes University in Grahamstown (Makhanda). She processed fraudulent travel and subsistence claims. Thereafter, funds were deposited unlawfully into fraudulent beneficiaries’ accounts for her personal enrichment.”

When the university grew suspicious, it reported the matter to the Hawks for investigation.

The 32-year-old was eventually arrested in December 2021 and has been on bail pending the outcome of her trial.

She is set to be sentenced on June 20.

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