The Great Bank Heist: EFF reaction

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VBS executives, municipal officials, politicians and traditional leaders have been found to have acted unlawfully in the lead up to the collapse of the mutual bank. This is contained in the final report released by the Reserve Bank.

The report comes after investigators reported back to the Prudential Authority of the Reserve Bank, about the looting of the bank’s resources.

The forensic report titled – The Great Bank Heist – outlines activities that eventually led to the collapse of the bank. The damning report into financial losses points fingers towards deliberate attempts to defraud scores of depositors.

Officials from the 15 municipalities that illegally invested R1,5 billion have also been implicated. The initial findings of the curator revealed significant looting of funds, which frustrated the bank’s clientele in March.

Robert Madzona of Vele Investment was paid over R30 million, but he says there was nothing wrong with that as it was a payment he got from the bank as the majority shareholder. Some of the people implicated own properties and luxury vehicles, worth millions of rand.

EFF reacts to VBS report

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has responded by issuing a statement to the forensic report released by the South African Reserve Bank on how VBS Mutual Bank was defrauded.

The report has recommended that more than 50 people be criminally charged.

They are reported to include the brother of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) deputy president Floyd Shivambu. Brian Shivambu who is alleged to have pocked R16 million.

The report titled “VBS Mutual Bank – The Great Bank Heist” was released on Wednesday.

It makes a number of explosive findings including how those implicated in plundering the bank made away with almost R2 billion.

The EFF says that it reiterates its position that “all who are responsible and illegally benefited from the fraud must be criminally prosecuted immediately.”

The EFF says that above all, the law enforcement agency must do all they can to ensure that all the money that can be recovered must be paid back in full, including attaching properties of the individuals who benefited from the defrauding of VBS.

Help resuscitate VBS

Meanwhile Muvhulawa says as minority shareholders they have requested the newly-appointed Finance Minister Tito Mboweni to help them to resuscitate VBS. He says they had made a similar request to Mboweni’s predecessor Nhlanhla Nene.

“We still want a bank, VBS mutual bank. And as I am speaking now the correspondence lies on the desk of the minister of finance and he was to give a response on Monday; then unfortunately came Monday there was this problem of the minister of finance. Now, we are going to make a follow up to seek that we continue with the process  to reopen VBS.”

Some VBS account holders and ordinary community members in Thohoyandou, Limpopo, where the bank was based, want those implicated in its collapse to be arrested and prosecuted.

“We are very hurt because our elderly people had invested in the bank because they had trust on it, they have not find some of the money yer. Those implicated must appear in court. We are very much affected as the Venda nation because it was our bank. It was our proud. It is now known for wrong reasons and it hurt so much. All those implicated individuals, traditional leaders and politicians must be prosecuted.”