Citizen reporter
2 minute read
11 Oct 2019
11:02 am

Hawks investigations at critical stage, arrests imminent in VBS scandal

Citizen reporter

Hawks spokesperson Hangwani Mulaudzi says the investigation into the alleged mass looting of the bank is very complex.

A closed VBS Mutual Bank branch, 9 July 2018. Picture: Facebook

Investigations by the Hawks into the alleged widescale looting of the collapsed VBS Mutual Bank are at a critical stage and arrests are about to happen.

Hawks spokesperson Hangwani Mulaudzi told the Sowetan that the investigations into the alleged mass looting were very complex.

However, not a single criminal charge has yet been laid over the VBS scandal and no arrests have been made.

Mulaudzi told the publication that the investigation had been difficult and that the Hawks could not rely on the report titled The Great Bank Heist by advocate Terry Motau, which revealed large-scale looting of the bank.

The report, which was handed to the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) on October 5, 2018, recommends that the bank’s former executives, their associates, shareholder executives, politicians and those related to them, and auditors who signed off on the bank’s fraudulent financials should face criminal charges and be held liable in civil proceedings.

Mulaudzi was quoted as saying that no statements were taken from the suspects who were interviewed during the compiling of the report.

“So, it remains as a source document and it did not conform to the Criminal Procedure Act,” Mulaudzi was quoted as saying.

He said arrests could only be made once the investigation had been concluded. He added that the investigation consisted of different legs and that the Hawks were looking at various dockets.

Mulaudzi said the SARB, which lodged the complaint in the matter, had not expressed any dissatisfaction with the progress made in the investigation.

The SARB was quoted as saying that it had implemented all the recommendations in Motau’s report and that it has submitted a criminal complaint to the Hawks.

It was reported that the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) head Shamila Batohi was on Monday updated on the progress made in the probe.

The publication reported that it understands that Batohi and Hawks boss Godfrey Lebeya met on Monday to discuss high profile cases, including the alleged looting of the bank.

The NPA said the process of prosecution was complex and took time. The authority was quoted as saying that it “cannot be pre-empted by preconceived time-frames” and that attention is being given to matters in the scandal.

(Compiled by Makhosandile Zulu.)

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