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Navy admiral quits after laptop fraud

The navy`s first and only woman admiral resigns after being convicted for fraud. An award-winning admiral has resigned from the SA Navy after she was convicted of fraud for reporting a government laptop stolen.

Rear admiral Khanyisile Litchfield-Tshabalala was the Navy`s first woman admiral and its director of transformation.

The Afrikaans daily, Beeld, reports that she was convicted and fined in the Thaba Tshwane Military Court, in Pretoria, last Friday. She has since resigned and is currently on leave.

The paper said the conviction followed from the admiral attending a women`s seminar, in Johannesburg, in May last year. A number of laptops were stolen from the venue during a lunch break.

Litchfield-Tshabalala then reportedly said she was glad she had not brought her laptop, as it would also have been stolen. However, she later told the Military Police (MP) the laptop had been stolen. The MP found inconsistencies in her statement and she was charged with fraud.

The laptop, worth R15 000, was not found. After her conviction, the court ruled that R15 000 be docked from her pay.

The admiral denied her guilt and may appeal the conviction and sentence.

Litchfield-Tshabalala was a category winner in the Shoprite Checkers-SABC2 Woman of the Year competition in 2006 and won an award from the International Quality and Productivity Centre last year. She was also hailed as one of Rapport and City Press newspapers` top 10 women of 2007.

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