Cape Town – A Cape Flats accounting clerk has been arrested for allegedly defrauding her ex-employers out of more than R4 million.
The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) nabbed Fadwa Alexander, from Hanover Park, in August after she allegedly transferred R4.3 million into five personal accounts over three years.
The missing funds were noticed after the company called in an accountant to check why they were “not making money”.
The co-owners of Smart Space Lifestyle Living in Ottery, Shamiel Coe, 46, and Derek Suter, 62, say while they were struggling to save their business, their former accounting clerk was “living the high life driving a Lexus, renovating her large home and throwing extravagant parties on a salary of less than R7 000”.
“Fadwa has been working for us from 2012 and we built a relationship of trust,” said Coe.
“Her job was to load payments and pay debtors and Derek would authorise it.
“In the first year we discovered the company wasn’t making money and we decided we’ll either close the business or go smaller. We thought our overheads were too high.”
He claims when they wanted to calculate their costs, Alexander “sabotaged” the process.
“We asked our accountant why we were not making money and for the past three years, this woman would sabotage the process,” Coe said.
“She would either play sick or end up in hospital whenever the accountant was supposed to come in. One time our hard drive disappeared twice with all the data on it, she had access to the server room.”
In July, their accountant finally did a thorough audit of the company’s books.
It’s alleged Alexander then tried to frame the accountant by planting drugs in a box containing documents.
“She came to us with a box and told us to see what’s inside. She insisted it was his and then she flushed it down the toilet. The accountant had it in for her, so from that moment he checked each and every payment she made and that’s how we discovered everything,” added Coe.
Suter said he invested more than R2m of his savings to try and save his business.
“She dressed very well and she drove a smart car and we were battling to the tune where we wanted to close the business because it was so bad,” said Suter.
“We thought the money was being made by her husband’s roofing company.”
The Daily Voice contacted Alexander repeatedly for comment for several days.
On Tuesday all she would say was: “I just spoke to my lawyer and I was advised not to give any comment.