Primary school allegedly defrauded of N$1.4 million

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Windhoek

The owner of Dorado Private School is kicking his heels in frustration after the police failed to trace the whereabouts of four people who allegedly owe the school nearly N$1.4 million.

Among the wanted individuals is the school’s former principal and two builders who were separately contracted at the school.

The owner of the school, which is for pre-school and primary school learners, Professor Shyam Singh, opened cases with the police.

Singh is an associate professor at the University of Namibia (Unam) and has 19 support and teaching staff that run the school.

“I am helpless. I am knocking on relevant doors to get help. I have put up posters in court looking for Lester Pieterse (one of the wanted individuals),”said Singh as he produced the poster he had printed to help intensify the search.

Singh said he opened three cases against construction company owner Pieterse, in 2008, 2010 and 2015 after he hired him to build additional classrooms but he allegedly left the building incomplete.

“Lester was ordered by the High Court to pay N$1 059 901 together with 20% interest from November 21, 2013 and the costs of the suit but he has not bothered at all to contact us to honour the court order. This is contempt of court,” said Singh.

“If Lester does not honour the court order, where should we go now?” he asked.
Singh said Pieterse further cashed a cheque worth N$170 000 despite it having contradicting dates. Singh has opened cases against the bank and Pieterse.

During 2010, Singh opened a case against the former principal Ms Clarice Lawrence for allegedly pocketing money meant for the school. In a letter written to Singh, the former principal admitted pocketing the money. “Lawrence has been seen around by our colleagues moving freely after embezzling the school money,” remarked Singh.

In 2011, Singh also opened a case against another builder, William Peter Winborn, who received N$25 000 to build a wall around the school but allegedly never did. “Winborn was arrested and then released. This person is not traceable now according to the police,” said Singh. This year Singh opened a case against an estate agent, a certain Aina, who allegedly forged Singh’s signature on a letter while he was in India last year, for her to get her commission of N$87 200. “It was her commission but she failed to take care of her clients. The property had many problems,” he said.

“We are running a school. We are still paying back the bank loan we took. We should have started a secondary school,” he said. The school has over 200 learners.

Head of the Nampol Public Relations Division, Deputy Commissioner Edwin Kanguatjivi, said the court has already asked the accused persons to pay back the money, and urged Singh to contact the accused’s lawyers.
Otherwise, advised Kanguatjivi, Singh can get another court order to attach their property, which can be sold to get his money back.

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