Three Francistown men accused of defrauding Panda Group of Companies of a sum of P4 million on Monday pleaded not guilty to the offence before Francistown Magistrate, Thebeitsile Mulalu.
The accused, Tiro Gaylards Masimege, Mothusi Mbulawa and Thuso Moloi are facing 61 counts of stealing by servant and false pretence from Panda Group of Companies, a company which deals in building materials in Francistown.
According to the charge sheet, between June 2008 and October 2010 the three men connived in selling the products of the company on the pretence that the proceeds from the sales were being deposited into the company’s account while actually they were putting the money into other accounts.
┬áMasimege, who is the first accused, worked as a credit controller for the company. It is alleged that he fraudulently obtained building materials from the company and sold them to various companies in and around Francistown, conniving with the fellow accused men.
The facts from prosecution also reveal that at one point Masimege de-activated the account of a certain company called Bakgoni Building Construction, which once had a credit account with Panda Group of Companies. He increased its limits and ordered the unsuspecting clients to pay the money into the account.
It is also alleged that he further de-activated other accounts in which cash and cheques were paid into with some of the money being handled by the other accused, Mbulawa and Moloi.
The three men are all out on bail.┬á The state is represented by the Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions in Francistown, Antonnette Kula. The first accused is represented by Wada Nfila and the third accused is represented by Moabi Madandume. The second accused is not represented.
Trial dates have been set for the 14th of May this year.