A recent report published by Sowetan alleges that First National Bank (FNB) has offered to pay up to R4.5 million of the R8 million that was syphoned from the bank account of the Living Legends Legacy Programme (LLLP) trust.
The theft was disclosed earlier this year during a press conference headed up by veteran singer and chairperson of the LLLP Letta Mbulu shortly after the board discovered the money was missing.
Since then, playwright, producer, and director Welcome Msomi has been arrested by the Hawks’ Serious Commercial Crime Investigation unit following a probe into the theft and has been charged with 61 counts of theft.
The publication reports that lawyers representing both the LLLP and FNB have been in talks for a while regarding replacing the missing funds. The bank then offered to cover half of the missing amount as a gesture of goodwill and made sure to emphasise that they were, in no way, accepting liability for the crime.
According to sources, the department of arts and culture is allegedly demanding up to R6 million from the bank.
Though FNB commented on the initial crime and the subsequent investigation, they would not be drawn on the topic of the negotiations.
Department of arts and culture spokesperson Asanda Magaqa said: “In this regard, we would welcome the payment. The final amount would be subject to consideration by the trustees and minister.”
He went on to add that they are not aware of any settlement at this stage and would prefer not to comment further.