- Pumeza Schumacher, who pleaded guilty, had stolen over R400 000 from funding meant for litter-pickers
- The woman’s bank account revealed that she had used the funding for clothing and entertainment
- Pumeza earned a large salary, as well as a large car allowance, and owned the home that she shared with her family
Pumeza Schumacher, a public health official, has pleaded guilty to stealing large sums of money meant to go to litter-pickers for the Nelson Mandela Bay wards. The former official will have to wait until early December to be sentenced.
Pumeza, a former community liaison officer, is out on bail after pleading guilty and subsequently being convicted in September 2018.
The sum of money she has admitted to stealing is around R400 000 over a time period of 4 years.
The woman created “ghost” employees meant to be litter-pickers and set up fake accounts for the funds to be paid into.
Invoices revealed how Pumeza had spent the money on clothing and entertainment amongst other things and were presented in court.
She appeared before the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court on Tuesday.
Prosecutor Leigh-Anne Pillay-Sehlale argued that the crime had been committed in a deliberate and persistent manner.
The bank accounts created by Schumacher had been used for the sole purpose of receiving the illegal money as statements revealed no other money had gone into the accounts.
The Times reported that, shockingly, the woman earned a salary of more than R20 000 a month, including a car allowance to pay for her VW Touran. The home she lived in had been paid in full by her husband.
“Her greed was such that she placed her employer at risk by defrauding a budget that was set aside for the poorest of the poor — litter-pickers who earned meagre wages.”
The woman had begun working for the municipality in 2007 as a depot clerk and was promoted to a liaison officer in 2013.
Enjoyed reading our story? Download BRIEFLY's news app on Google Play now and stay up-to-date with major South African news!