THE HIGH COURT OF SWAZILAND
the matter between:
the Crown: MR J.W. MASEKO
the Accused: MR S.V. MDLADLA
accused stands before me charged with the crime of theft, it being
alleged that the said accused person, whilst employed as the Customs
and Excise Controller of the Department of Customs and Excise,
Mbabane Railway office, and as such a servant or agent of the said
Department of Customs and Excise, he was entrusted with the custody
and care of money which belonged to his employer or which money came
into his possession on account of his said employer, the accused
person did, during the period 17th July, 1997, to 19th September,
1997, and at or near Mbabane, Hhohho District, unlawfully and
intentionally steal some of the said money, thereby causing a general
deficiency of E42,630-68, the property or in the lawful possession of
the said Department of Custom and Excise.
accused pleaded not guilty, a plea which was confirmed by his
attorney. The Crown adduced the evidence of five (5) witnesses in
support of the indictment, and whose testimony will chronicled herein
1 was Captain Phillip Stander a member of the South African Police
Service, attached to the Questioned Documents Unit since 1993.
Captain Stander holds qualifications in questioned documents and is
therefor regarded as an expert in this field. He testified that in
April, 1998 he received certain documents from the Royal Swaziland
in respect of this matter and from which he made a positive finding
but did not have enough specimen documents in his possession in order
to enable him to make a concrete finding.
therefor requested some more documents from the R.
which request culminated in R.M. Mthimkhulu of the R.
delivering an envelope containing disputed signatures, which PW 1
received on the 16th March, 2000. It was his further evidence that he
compared two sets of documents, namely, handing over certificates,
which were disputed and also the accused's leave forms which were
collected signatures. PW 1 testified that in his opinion the author
of both sets of documents was one person, and that the probability in
favour of that opinion was 95%+ stronger.
cross-examination, PW 1 was asked if his view that there was a 95%+
probability that there was one author, then there is then a chance
that the author, is not the same. In response, it was PW l's evidence
that there is 5% that the accused is not the author and 95% that he
is. He stated further that if he had had more collected specimen, a
stronger finding would have been made.
2 was Phephisiwe Annah Dlamini, the accused's subordinate at the
Railway office. She testified that she was employed at the Railway
office as a Customs Officer, whose duty it was to update the date
stamp, check the numbering machine, check in-coming trucks from South
Africa, check the I.
forms and to ensure that the same were in order. It was also her duty
to receive cash and cheque payments from traders and to keep the
money collected in a cash box which she would lock. At the end of the
day, she would hand over the cash and cheques to the accused, who was
was her further evidence that before handing over the cash and cash
book to the accused, she would prepare and sign certain handover
certificates which the accused would also sign in PW 2's presence if
the money over handed over corresponded with the amounts reflected in
the cash book. She would then take copies of the hand over
and the accused would also keep his own. She further testified that
the accused was also responsible for banking the money collected.
2 was shown five H.
which she said she recognised and testified that the accused and
herself both signed them. The details reflected thereon are as
NO DATE CASH/CHEQUE AMOUNT
1 18/7/97 cash E
2 28/7/97 cash
+ cheque E3 918.75
3 1/8/97 cash E1
4 16/9/97 cash E
5 19/9/97 cheque
& cash E3 498.64
confirmed that the signatures reflected on the H.
were the accused's and that she recognised his signature as she had
worked harmoniously with him for a period of eight months. She
further testified that after handing the money over to the accused,
she did not have access to it as he locked it in a safe.
cross examination, she was asked if the amount collected between the
dates recorded above was reflective of the total and she testified
that she is not certain as she attended a course at the Swaziland
Institute of Management and Public Administration (SIMPA) between 4th
August and 5th September, 1997 and left the accused to do the work on
his own. She was further asked if from the amount of E42, 630.68
reflected in the charge sheet less the amount reflected in the H.
someone else collected the money. Her response was that certain
receipt books were not located when an audit of their duty station
was conducted and she would therefor not be in a position to know the
answer. She further testified that she normally collected the money
and the accused collected the money on a few occasions as he worked
outside the station on most days, returning late in the afternoon.
asked by the Court, PW 2 stated that she did not keep any keys to the
safe but the accused alone did so. She further told the Court that
the accused always returned and there was no occasion when she had to
keep the money at the end of the day.
3 was Thandabantu Nxumalo the Internal Auditor of the Department. It
was his evidence that his duties entail inspecting all the
Department's books of account as one of the Government's collectors
of revenue. He also has to ensure that revenue is properly collected,
banked and also ensure that all stipulated financial and other
procedures are religiously followed.
was his evidence that on the 13th, 16th and 22nd September, 1997, he
carried out an audit inspection of the accused's station and
submitted a report of his findings. That report was read out and
reflects the following:-
on the 15th, 16th and 22nd September, 1997, PW 3, accompanied by
Doreen Hlatshwayo carried out an audit inspection at the Railway
Station, where the accused was Controller. The auditors introduced
themselves to the accused as such and they requested to inspect the
stock register, whereupon the accused informed them that it was not
maintained at that Station. When referred to an earlier inspection,
carried out on 30th September, 1996, which stated that such a
register was maintained, the accused then told the auditors that they
could not get the register because he had given it to someone else,
together with other documents and receipt books. For that reason, the
auditors could not determine the stock of receipts on hand.
auditors could also not determine the last submission to the revenue
office because the accused failed to produce the file in which
collectors receipts and other accounting records are filed. The
accused informed the auditors that the file was in the custody of
somebody in town.
auditors also established that total cash on receipts was E68 305.11
and the cash on hand, which included coins and cash on bank slips was
E25,674.43 and the amount unaccounted for was E42,630.68. The
auditors asked the accused about the whereabouts of this money and
the accused confessed that he had misappropriated the money. This PW
2 confirmed in his evidence, adding that the accused told them that
he used the money for something else.
litany of breaches of financial and accounting regulations was
discovered by the auditors but which are not the subject of this
enquiry. Certain recommendations were made in respect of the issues
cited above and the other infractions to the Commissioner of Customs
and Excise for appropriate action.
3 also testified that they also noted a number of discrepancies
regarding the due completion of the C.
forms and when confronted about these, the accused failed to give a
satisfactory explanation. Deposit slips pertaining to cash deposits
and the general receipt book were handed in as part of PW 2's
cross-examination, PW 3 stated that on their arrival on the 15th
September, 1997, PW 2 was the officer they found on the premises as
the accused was reported to be at work at Sidwashini, Interfreight
depot. PW 3 said they waited for the accused's arrival. PW 3 was
asked if he was aware that the accused had been left to man the
station on his own because PW 2 attended a course at SIMPA. It was PW
3's evidence that this was not brought to the auditors' attention,
and that the accused never informed them of this and that had he
informed them, this would have been reflected in the report.
was put to PW 3 that the report was compiled without calling the
accused to answer and this PW 3 vehemently denied. PW 3 insisted that
the procedure is that the auditee is always present when an audit is
carried out and that the auditee is asked questions. He stated that
the audit team cannot proceed in the absence of the auditee. PW 3
further denied that the accused was not there and that upon his
arrival, the auditors already had the documents in their possession.
It was further suggested to PW 3 that the accused explained that the
auditors found the books in disarray because at one stage the accused
was left alone to man the office. This PW 3 stated was never
explained to them by the accused. It was also put to PW 3 that the
accused did not dispute the signatures in question because he was not
afforded an opportunity to present his case. This PW 3 denied,
maintaining that the accused was afforded every opportunity to
explain. PW 3 further denied that the documents were perused in the
accused's absence as suggested. It was his evidence that the accused
was present throughout.
Mdladla further put to PW 3 that the accused denies that the
signatures on the receipt book are his to which PW 3 stated that the
accused never denied them during the
It was stated further that the accused denied ever admitting that he
had misappropriated funds from the station. PW 3 stated that the
accused did confess and as a result this fact was recorded in the
4 was Nonhlanhla Eunice Mngomezulu a Senior Accountant, who is
employed by Government at the Revenue Section at the Treasury
Department. It was her evidence that her office issues receipt books
to sub-collectors, including the accused's station. She confirmed
that the receipt book in issue Exhibit "G", bearing serial
numbers 162401 to 162500 was issued by her office to the accused's
station. In this regard, PW 4 handed in a sheet from the stock book
which confirmed that such a receipt book was issued to the accused's
station on the 27th June, 1997 and was signed for. PW 4 confirmed
that she knew the accused and that he used to come to her office to
collect receipt books for his station.
cross-examination, PW 4 stated that she did not personally know who
had issued exhibit 'G' to the station in question. She further stated
that she did not know therefor to whom the receipt book was given.
When asked what she would say if the accused would deny having
collected Exhibit 'G', PW 4 stated that according to her knowledge
the accused was the only person known to collect receipt books for
his station and if he did not collect Exhibit 'G', he should be in a
position to say who had done so. PW 4 further stated that as a matter
of procedure one person is always designated to collect receipt books
and if that person is for some reason unable to do so, he informs the
Treasury Department as to who will collect the receipt books so that
the Department may know. She testified that strangers may not collect
last witness for the Crown PW 5, was Caiphus Vusumuzi Msibi, the
Personnel Officer stationed at Customs and Excise Department head
quarters. He testified that he knew the accused as the accused was in
his Department's employ. PW 5 handed in some leave application forms
in respect of the accused. It was PW 5's further evidence that the
accused had applied for leave using the said forms, and the same were
signed by the accused. He further confirmed that these forms were
obtained from the accused's personal file maintained by the
Department of Customs and Excise, which were in his custody and care.
The defence put no question to this witness.
this stage, Mr Mdladla moved an application for the acquittal and
discharge of the accused at the close of the Crown's case, which
application I then dismissed. Section 174 (4) of the Criminal
Procedure and Evidence Act No.67/1938, under which this application
was moved states as follows:-
the close of the case for the prosecution, the Court considers that
there is no evidence that the accused committed the offence charged
or any other offence of which he might be convicted thereon, it may
acquit and discharge him. "
Legislative nomenclature clearly shows that the Legislature gives the
trial Court the discretion to decide whether or not to grant an
application for acquittal and discharge, depending upon the
particular attendant circumstances of the case. The test to be
applied in considering whether a discharge is competent was stated by
Dunn J. in the KING v DUNCAN MAGAGULA AND 10 OTHERS CRIM. CASE
NO.43/96 as being whether there has been led evidence on which a
reasonable man acting carefully might and not should convict.
support of the application, it was the contention of the defence that
no link had been created by the Crown between the accused and the
offence. It was contended that the Crown failed to prove that Exhibit
'G' was in the accused's possession and the accused signed it.
Furthermore, it was submitted that PW 2 failed to adduce evidence to
prove the Exhibit 'C was used by her at the station.
cannot be said, due regard being had to the nature of the evidence
led that no evidence was led by the Crown showing that the accused
had committed the crime where with he is charged, or any other
offence of which he might be convicted.
is a clear nexus between the charge and the accused. It was not
denied that the accused was in control at the material time i.e. when
the money disappeared. Further, PW 2's evidence was clear that it was
the accused, during the material time who was responsible for the
safe-keeping and banking of the money and also signed handover notes
acknowledging receipt of money. The evidence of PW 3, regarding the
accused's admission of misappropriating the money is also evidence
linking the accused to the offence.
Crown, in its evidence regarding the receipt book proved that it was
issued by the Treasury Department to the Railway Station. PW 3
confirmed that he found it at the station being used when he was
carrying out the audit inspection. The accused, from the questions
posed to the Crown witnesses does not appear to deny handling the
money neither does he say what he would have stated had the hearing
which he denies been afforded to him. It is also worthy of note that
the money in respect of which the accused stands charged was obtained
from source documents obtained from the station where the accused was
in charge. It was for these reasons that I came to the view that the
application lacked substance and was liable to be refused.
reviewal of the Crown's evidence in my view leads to only one
conclusion. The Crown gave good, reliable and credible testimony. The
evidence was adduced by the Crown witnesses in a forthright manner.
The Crown's witnesses in my view never wavered and showed great
fortitude even under cross-examination. I therefor have no hesitation
in accepting their evidence, which was given in an impartial manner
as true. Their evidence was in my view without blemish.
accused gave sworn testimony, led by his attorney. The accused
informed the Court that he was employed by the Department and had
been so employed for more than twenty (20) years. It was his evidence
that he was Controlling Officer (C.O.) at the Railway station when he
was suspended. His duties as head of the station entailed overseeing
issues relating to import and export of goods, checking if trucks had
properly declared goods being imported into the country, taking
custody of official stamps and also to keep files and collectors
receipts and the keeping and banking of the money collected.
was his further evidence that on the 15th September, 1997, on arrival
from Interfreight, he found PW 2, PW 3 and one Doreen Hlatshwayo in
the office with the General Receipt Book, C.
forms and cash books which they were using. The accused greeted them
and proceeded to do his work as there was a truck he had to check
outside. He testified that the procedure relating to Internal
Auditors was that they do not wait for C.O. if the key to the station
was his evidence that the auditors never asked him to be present
during the audit nor to explain anything to them. He received a
telephone call from one S.S. Dlamini summoning him to the
headquarters where he was told to go on leave because there were
certain mistakes or anomalies at the station. He was never asked to
address the aforesaid queries. On expiry of the leave days, the
accused was given a letter of transfer to the Inspection Department
where no report of his activities at the previous post were
mentioned. It was his evidence that only faithful people are employed
at the Inspection Department to which he had been transferred.
further testified that in September, 1998, a Police Officer by the
surname of Ngwenya arrested him and he was taken to Court where he
was admitted to bail. He therefor continued to work until his
suspension as aforesaid.
was the accused's further evidence that after the audit inspection,
he did not look at the books of account because the auditors came
with their own receipt book, used it and took it away. The accused
admitted that it is true that some of the accounting instructions and
procedures had been flouted by him and attributed this to the fact
that he was left to do all the work alone when PW 2 attended a course
He admitted that he was responsible for collecting general receipt
books from the Treasury Department but denied having collected
Exhibit 'G'. The accused further testified that he was never asked by
the auditors about the money and he denied having admitted to
embezzling the money.
accused was also shown Exhibit 'G' which he perused, stating that he
did not know any of the signatures thereon. He stated that he could
see two different signatures appended thereon but none of them was
accused lifted the shield during his examination in chief by stating
that only trustworthy persons are employed at the Inspection
Department. In cross-examination, the accused stated that he
considered himself as a trustworthy person. Having lifted the shield,
it then transpired that the accused was once posted to Nsalitje
Border Post in 1985 and he left as a result of some money that went
missing. As a result, criminal proceedings were instituted and the
accused was acquitted on a technicality. It further transpired that
the accused was transferred to Sicunusa where some money was
misappropriated and he was
therefor. When put to him that he was far cry from a trustworthy
officer, the accused did not deny, contenting himself only in saying
that he understands. I have warned myself against using this evidence
to reach any conclusion regarding the accused's guilt or otherwise in
this matter. The conclusion reached will be solely confined to the
evidence led in this matter.
accused was hopeless as a witness. His hopelessness was shown very
early in his evidence in chief when he testified that when the
auditors came, he was not in the office but found them perusing books
of account and merely greeted them. He was hard pressed to explain
why he did not take an interest in people who were perusing books at
a station which he controls but gave an unconvincing answer. The
accused further failed to answer clear and direct questions under
cross-examination such that the Court was called upon on some
occasions to direct him to answer the questions. He was fidgety and
very uncomfortable both in his evidence in chief and under
the case of S V KELLY 1980 (3) SA 301 at 308 C, it was stated that
"Demeanour is, at best a tricky horse to ride. There is no doubt
be most misleading." In this case, the accused's demeanour in
the witness box was in no way deceptive. It was reminiscent of what
was stated by Osborne, "The Mind of the Juror" 1938, page
86, namely :-
by words alone... Their faces and their changing expressions may be
pictures that prove the truth of the ancient Chinese saying that a
picture is equal to a thousand words. "
defence case faced several insuperable difficulties over and above
the accused's demeanour in the witness box. Firstly, the defence case
was not fully put to the Crown's witnesses much against the well
established principle propounded with absolute clarity by Hannah C.J.
in R v DOMINIC MNGOMEZULU AND OTHERS CRIM. CASE NO.94/90, at page 17,
where the learned Chief Justice as he then was stated as follows:-
is I think clear from the foregoing that failure by counsel to
cross-examine on important aspects of a prosecution witness'
testimony may place the defence at risk of adverse comments being
made and adverse inferences being drawn. If he
not challenge a particular item of evidence, then an inference may be
made that at the time of cross-examination his instructions were that
the unchallenged item was not disputed by the accused. And if the
accused subsequently goes into the witness box and denies the
evidence in question, the Court may infer that he has changed his
story in the intervening period. It is also important that counsel
should put the defence case accurately. If he does not, and the
accused subsequently gives evidence at variance with what was put,
the Court may again infer that there has been a change in the
of issues which were not put to the Crown witnesses and in respect of
which the Court was entitled to assume were not challenged include
was not put to PW 2 or PW 3 that the procedure at the Customs and
Excise Department is that the Internal Auditor does not wait for the
Controller to be in attendance before he can proceed with his
inspection unless the key is unavailable. This only surfaced in the
accused's evidence in chief, much against PW 3's unchallenged
evidence that he does not carry out the audit in the Controller's
absence unless the Controller has delegated one of his subordinates
to work with the auditors.
was never put to PW 3 that he and his colleague brought a receipt
book with them and which they took away after conducting the
inspection. This was only disclosed by the accused in his evidence in
was never put to PW 2 that the accused had to attend to trucks or
persons who had paid on a daily basis on his return from Sidwashini.
This was also stated in his evidence in chief when the accused was
trying to explain why he did not attend to the auditors according to
his version, namely that he had a truck to attend to.
was never put to PW 3 that the Internal Audit Team proceeds to
conduct its inspection with whoever is found on duty regardless of
the absence of the controller.
defence never put to PW 2 that the accused questioned her about what
she was doing with the auditors. In his evidence in chief, the
accused stated that he questioned her and her answer was that they
were just working as they were required to ascertain if the money
balanced. The importance of this was that PW 2 and PW 3 stated that
the accused was present during the inspection and he was asked to
explain certain anomalies.
on the above cited dictum, I am entitled and do hereby draw an
inference that there was a change in the accused's story. The issues
raised above were important to put to the Crown witnesses in order to
put the accused's case in its proper perspective to the Court. That
these were only raised in chief is susceptible to only the one
interpretation stated above.
have also come to a conclusion that the accused lied in respect of
certain matters and proceeded to contradict himself on others. In his
evidence in chief, he testified that the Receipt Book, Exhibit 'G',
was brought onto his station by PW 3 but under cross-examination he
conceded that he may have handed the said Exhibit to PW 3 to enable
him to conduct an inspection.
accused also lied when he said that he was not present during the
audit inspection. His presence and participation was confirmed by the
evidence of PW 3, who was impressive as a witness and was honest in
my view. The accused's story is that he went into his office and
found PW 2 with internal auditors and merely greeted them. He then
went to attend to a truck outside. When asked what he did about
people working at his station he said he asked PW 2 but never asked
PW 3 because he (accused) was busy. This is an unacceptable
3's evidence is that the accused was present during the inspection
and was asked certain questions which he answered. Certain books were
found missing and the accused gave an explanation. The absence of
some of these books was also confirmed by PW 2 and she was not
contradicted by the defence in this regard. The accused accepts that
there were anomalies which were recorded in PW 3's report but insists
that he was not there during the inspection. The accused was very
uncomfortable when answering questions regarding this issue and was
evasive. I find for a fact that he was asked questions as stated by
PW 3 and
answers were recorded. It is worth noting that if his story is
accepted that he was not given a hearing by the auditors and the
Commissioner, he does not state what it is that he would have stated
to them to challenge PW 3's report or the anomalies attributed to
are excerpts from the cross examination of the accused which
demonstrate his lies. I propose to refer to a few of these as
recorded in my notes.
put it to you that on that day, PW 2 handed over E3,498.64, which
includes a cheque of E626.04.
cannot recall. She may have handed the money over.
suggest that this amount is confirmed by the hand-over certificates
which she signed and you also signed declaring receipt of the amount.
did not sign there.
is no way that PW 2 could have manufactured this document with your
signature as you acknowledge being at work on that day and receiving
may have taken this money but not as indicated in this document,
(This question had to be asked three times. Eventually, the following
answer was tendered.)
agree she could not manufacture the hand over certificates.
put it to you, she could not have manufactured the others, especially
those dated 18/7, 16/9, 1/8, 1997 and 28/7/98, especially because of
your evidence that you would always come back to the station and
never went on leave.
agree. She could not have manufactured them.
the close of business of each day, you would put away the stamps and
general receipt book.
PW 3 told the Court that he received Exhibit "G" from you
never gave a General Receipt book to PW 3.
suggest that there is no way or reason which PW 3 would plant Exhibit
"G" because these were locked in the safe everyday.
However, I do not remember giving him a General receipt book
agree that you may have given him but do not remember.
put it to you that there is no way in which PW 3 would have had
access to the books as stamps are affixed thereon and you collected
and locked the stamps at the close of business.
put it to you that Exhibit "G" was handed to PW 3 and he
used it to discover the deficiency as alleged in the charge sheet.
agree that it was issued to my station but I did not fetch it from
the Treasury Department.
is clear from the foregoing that the accused's evidence was now
changing. His earlier evidence was that he had not dealt with PW 3
but from the excerpts it is clear that he did. Earlier he denied
knowledge of the receipt book but later agreed that it was at his
station. His evidence is therefor not worthy of credit.
the evidence, it is abundantly clear that the accused was employed by
the Department and that he was station controller when the deficiency
occurred. As C.O., he was responsible for the custody and safety of
the money and was also responsible for banking it. The uncontroverted
evidence is that PW 2 collected the money and handed it over to the
accused together with the cheques. The accused kept these in a safe
of which he only kept the key.
was therefor no opportunity for PW 2 or any other person to interfere
with the safe nor was it suggested to PW 2 that she or another person
had access to the safe. No queries were raised by the accused to PW 2
in which she was suspected to have been responsible for the
disappearance of the money.
reject as false that the receipt book was brought by PW 3. The
receipt book was issued to the accused's station and he and PW 2 were
receiving money evidenced by their signatures appended thereon. The
accused's denials of the signatures thereon are nothing but an
exercise in futility. I say so because of the compelling evidence of
the Crown's expert evidence adduced by PW 1 regarding the questioned
and collected signatures. His finding was that one person wrote both.
I have also taken time to compare the signatures on the receipt book,
the stock register and those on the leave forms and hand over
certificates. I have no hesitation to say that these were signed by
one person save that he abbreviated the signature in the receipt book
and the stock register. This is so plain that no expert witness is
even necessary to state. His denial of these signatures, which was
done half-heartedly amounted to nothing other than an attempt to
deflect the course of justice. It is also worthy of note from the
excerpts from my notes that the accused eventually agreed that PW 2
could not have manufactured the H.
and therefor could not manufacture the signatures thereon.
the accused admitted that PW 3 could not have planted the receipt
book in question and further stated that he could have given the
receipt book to PW 3. If the accused denied the signatures both on
and the receipt book, he should have done so during the audit. His
failure to do so is only consistent with PW 3's evidence that the
accused admitted misappropriating the funds in question.
handed the receipt book to look at the signatures, he hurriedly went
through the book without taking the requisite painstaking care and
diffidently stated that he did not know the signature thereon.
was clear that he was lying.
is also the evidence of PW 3 that the accused admitted to have
misappropriated the money.
evidence, the accused failed to sufficiently explain. Contrasting the
two pieces of evidence i.e. that of the accused and PW 3, the
latter's should stand, regard being had to his impressive demeanour
in the witness box. The same cannot be said of the
and I am therefor constrained to admit PW 3's evidence as true. PW 3
could not manufacture that piece of evidence and proceed to tell a
fanciful story that certain books were not found and the accused said
they were with some person in town if that was not the case. PW 3 had
nothing personal to gain by adducing the evidence that he did nor was
it suggested to him. It is not disputed that many accounting
instructions were not followed by the accused which is an indication
that all was not well at his station. This, considered in the light
of the other evidence led places the accused in a precipice.
the case of MILLER v MINISTER OF PENSIONS 1947 (2) ALL E.R. 372 at
G - H, Denning J. summed at the position as follows:-
is a compelling presumption in the man's favour which must prevail
unless the evidence proves beyond reasonable doubt that the disease
was not attributable to or aggravated by war service, and for that
purpose the evidence must reach the same degree of cogency as is
required in a criminal case before an accused person is found guilty.
That degree is well settled. It need not reach certainty, but it must
carry a high degree of probability. Proof beyond the shadow of doubt.
The law would fail to protect the community if it admitted fanciful
possibilities to deflect the course of justice. If the evidence is so
strong against a man as to leave only a remote possibility in his
favour which can be dismissed with the sentence 'of course it is
possible, but not in the least probable', the case is proved beyond
reasonable doubt, but nothing short of that will suffice. "
this case, I find no possibilities ensuring to the accused's favour.
The accused was solely and directly in charge of the money which went
missing and confessed that he misappropriated it. His subsequent
denial is a feeble and unconvincing attempt to avoid facing the
natural consequences of his action. His account is palpably false and
cannot, with exercise of the greatest benevolence be regarded as
reasonably possibly true. I accordingly find him guilty as charged
and it is so ordered.