Kaschula guilty of stealing 480 Kruger coins
Ex-senior bank manager stole client’s R7.2m gold haul from vault, court told
Thieving bank manager Kevin Kaschula burgled 480 Krugerrand gold coins from his client, East Coast tycoon EV Krull.
Handing down judgment on Friday, East London regional court magistrate Ignatius Kitching found the former senior manager at Nedbank, East London, guilty of plundering Krull’s haul of gold in the bank’s vault, valued at over R7.2m.
With the help of a power drill, Kaschula helped himself to the bullion from one of Krull’s two safety boxes.
He nibbled away at the pile over a 21-year period between 1994 and 2015.
“This was grand theft,” said Kitching.
Nedbank also received a backhander from Kitching who found the bank to have been “lax” and “careless” in their security measures. The bank also failed to raise the alarm when the robbery was discovered.
Kitching found Kaschula lied a number of times in the witness dock.
Krull said he bought 300 of the coins before the 1994 democratic dispensation, and put them in the Nedbank vault.
He entered into an agreement with Nedbank to buy a further 400 coins by the end of 1995, which they also kept in their vault.
In total he believed he had a stash of close to 800 coins in the bank, but when he checked in 2015, only 400 were left.
When he realised that a number of his coins were missing it was discovered that one of Krull’s two safety boxes had been “drilled and broken into”.
Kaschula was the bank’s foreign exchange manager at the time and was responsible for buying and safeguarding the coins for Krull.
Kitching lambasted Nedbank.
“When the forced entry to one of the boxes was discovered, this should have raised alarm and something should have been done.
“It is a concern that despite Nedbank’s security measures, someone or some people were able to access the box unnoticed, which was in a locked vault, and forced open such box without any records showing that someone had accessed such,” he said.
“This leaves one with a question of why did Nedbank not call the police or open a criminal case when they discovered that one of Krull’s boxes was drilled by unknown persons and tampered with.
“That could only have been done by people from inside, who flouted rules, controls and security measures to access the box.
“This leaves one to conclude that the very lax and careless supervision at Nedbank, contributed to the loss,” said Kitching.
“This obviously was a grand theft, which the accused was instrumental in, and which was made possible by the bank’s poor security.”
Kaschula had told court that he did not recall which of his former bosses had told him to open a safety deposit box in his own name so he could store 80 coins belonging to Krull, where they stayed for 20 years.
He said he “forgot” to hand them back to Krull, which Kitching dismissed as a “blatant lie”. He also found Kaschula’s responses under cross-examination, to be ”incomprehensible”.
He “gave false answers on many occasions”.
After Kitching read out his guilty verdict, a trembling Kaschula shook his head in disbelief.
Sentence will be finalised later this year in August. His bail was extended...