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Muslim preacher in court over missing funds

by Sunday Express
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Brian Chiwanza

A PAKISTANI preacher and his Mosotho suspected accomplice appeared before the Maseru Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday accused of stealing M431 000 from his employer.

Muhammad Siddig (48) and Motsoane Leseli (31) were dragged to court by their South African employer, Hoosen Khan (61).

Mr Khan owns Modisons Hardware, where Siddig and Leseli worked as manager and assistant manager, respectively.

According to Mr Khan, the money was allegedly stolen between January and October 2013.

Advocate Thabo Mpaka is representing the accused, while Mr Mohau Mahanyele is prosecuting the case.

Mr Khan told the court he never suspected the two would connive to steal money from him especially Mr Siddig who had served him for 23 years and is a Muslim preacher.

“At no given time did I suspect that Mr Siddig would steal from me. Being a Muslim preacher, I trusted him. My company was solely in his care. We communicated on a daily basis while I was away from the business.

“He was responsible for making payments and keeping the records of people receiving money in and outside the company,” Mr Khan told the court.

After realizing the money was missing, Mr Khan said he could not take disciplinary measures against the pair because they were nowhere to be found. He also denied harassing them over the funds.

However, Advocate Mpaka challenged Mr Khan’s statements, saying his clients told him otherwise.

“My instructions are that they gave you reasons for not attending the disciplinary hearing, through a letter dated 6 November 2013. They also tell me you started to harass them after the correspondence,” Advocate Mpaka put it to Mr Khan.

But the businessman maintained he neither received the said letter nor harass the two.

Asked by Advocate Mpaka how he records his sales, Mr Khan said the entire system is computerized.

“Whenever there is load-shedding or computer-breakdown, I would expect to see a receipt accompanied by the money, but this never happened,” Mr Khan explained.

Advocate Mpaka then asked about a break-in at Mr Khan’s shop and the incessant load-shedding of 2013 that resulted in the accused resorting to manual operations.

“I am further told there was a lot of load-shedding in 2013 and in September of the same year, there was a break-in at your shop. I am told you then instructed them not to use computers but sell from outside so that they would not interfere with ongoing investigations,” Advocate Mpaka said.

But Mr Khan denied ever giving such an instruction, adding if there is such persistent load-shedding, the policy is that the shop should be closed.

The case, which was first heard on 28 April 2014, was postponed to 16 November 2015 by Senior Resident Magistrate Peter Murenzi.

The accused are out on M10 000 bail and M50 000 surety each. Nkhebesoa Nqosa (30), who was the third accused, has since been discharged.


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