No attempts to prosecute VBS thieves as total looting rises to R2.7bn – report

VBS Bank branding. Picture: Moneyweb

Liquidator Anoosh Rooplal believes the total looted was roughly R800 million more than uncovered in an SARB report.

There have been no attempts to prosecute five sequestrated VBS Mutual Bank officials, despite standing accused of having knowingly and willingly looted the funds of mainly poor people from Limpopo, Daily Maverick reports.

Liquidator Anoosh Rooplal now estimates that the total looted was roughly R800 million more than originally reported, taking the total to an estimated R2.7 billion.

The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) report which originally propelled the VBS scandal into the spotlight, written by Advocate Terry Motau and law firm Werksmans, put the number stolen at R1.89 billion. The report named 53 alleged beneficiaries and said the bank’s own management had been the biggest beneficiaries of the looting.

The five sequestrated bank officials are former VBS chair Tshifiwa Matodzi, former CEO Andile Ramavhunga, former CFO Phillip Truter, former head of treasury Phophi Mukhodobwane, and former group executive of Vele Investments Robert Madzonga.

According to Daily Maverick, both the Hawks and National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) have not made any effort to advance cases against the alleged looters in over a year.

The full report can be read here.

The Citizen reported in October that some municipal managers, chief finance officers and supply chain management managers from municipalities in Limpopo, which invested over R1 billion in VBS, have continued to collect their monthly salaries, while others received golden handshakes worth millions.

READ MORE: Not a single criminal charge has yet been laid over the VBS scandal

On October 10, some of those municipalities appeared before the portfolio committee on cooperative governance, led by Faith Muthambi, outside Polokwane.

The committee was baffled to learn officials had been doing business with their own municipalities, tenders were awarded to friends and relatives, and several service providers were paid for work never done.

Muthambi also heard a municipal manager was given a R1-million golden handshake after he was implicated in the illegal investment of R300 million in VBS.

The DA in Limpopo at the start of October alleged that the R1 million was a hush payment over the hundreds of millions improperly invested in the now liquidated bank.

Vhembe District Municipality officials allegedly authorised a R1-million payment as a “golden handshake” to Reuben Rambado, the municipality’s former municipal manager.

The Vhembe municipality last year suspended Rambado and chief financial officer Nyiko Machava over the VBS scandal after the municipality invested the R300 million in the bank.

(Compiled by Daniel Friedman. Background reporting, Charles Cilliers and Alex Matlala)

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