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VBS ‘The Great Bank Heist’ suffer the children of lesser mortals

IT WAS meant to help out the most disadvantaged but as titled "VBS Mutual Bank - The Great Bank Heist", this will go down in the history of the Vhenda people as a scam that denied them the opportunity to fight poverty and other social-ills.

VBS ‘The Great Bank Heist’ suffer the children of lesser mortals

During its launch phase it was described as a true BEE and would help a black child out of poverty, unbeknown that the same principals are the architects of corruption and looting.

Plotting “The Great Bank Heist”, implicated VBS Mutual Bank chairperson Tshifhiwa Matodzi (left) and CEO Andile Ramavhunga.

This week advocate Terry Motau, a team of investigators led by Werksmans Attorneys, Kuben Naidoo, deputy governor of the Reserve Bank and CEO of the Prudential Authority, dug an explosive report on what led to VBS to liquidation.

Dubbed the “The Great Bank Heist” as it came to be known, we all know the implicated parties from officials to politicians:

Tshifhiwa Matodzi, the chair of VBS Mutual Bank and Vele Investments, personally benefited to the tune of R325m. Matodzi, who weeks ago had his estate provisionally sequestrated following an application brought by VBS curator Anoosh Rooplal, is identified as the kingpin of the heist;

A number of other previous VBS executives including Robert Madzonga (R30.3m), Phophi Mukhodobwane (R30.5m) and CEO Andile Ramavhunga (R28.9m) benefited from the looting. The bank’s previous CFO, Philip Truter, who was responsible for enabling the manipulation of the banking system, also benefited, but nowhere near his peers;

According to the report, Mukhodobwane and Truter have confessed to their complicity in the crime. Ramavhunga, Madzonga and Matodzi have denied any wrongdoing; and

KPMG partner Sipho Malaba – who was the engagement partner for VBS and the person who ultimately signed off the false 2017 year-end audit that was subsequently withdrawn by the bank’s curator – benefited to the tune of R34m.

The perpetrators of the heist made away with almost R2bn.

Former Pres JZ Zuma was given a loan by the same bank.

The controversial Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) and Floyd Shivambu’s brother Brian have been implicated in a forensic report on the failure of VBS Mutual Bank‚ which was released on Wednesday, in a 148-page report findings.

ANC deputy chairperson in Limpopo and Vhembe district municipality mayor, Florence Radzilani, a “politically connected fixer” Kabelo Matsepe, ANC provincial treasurer Danny Msiza, who is alleged to have been a kingpin of what the report referred to as “the commission agent” have all been implicated.

ANC’s spokesperson Pule Mabe was quoted “we shall let the process of investigation take place and action will be taken against those implicated” he said.

According to Motau, more implicating information will come out in the public as investigations continue.

As this drama unfolds the victims: ordinary and hardworking masses of Vhenda still await to get hands on their funds; so are municipalities that invested huge chunk of money.


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