Several local cooperatives and stokvel groups at Ga-Mathabatha village outside Lebowakgomo in Limpopo have lost millions of rand in a village bank.

The members of the cooperatives and stokvel say that about four million rand, which they had invested, has vanished.

The money had been invested with the now collapsed Ga-Mathabatha Financial Services Corporative since 2001, which had, in turn, deposited the money in a private financial institution.

One of the investors Johanna Maesela says that they have now opened a police case.

“The community is crying, they all want their money. We have decided to open a case at the local police station. We request that no one should open a bank account because investigations are ongoing. The community is complaining. Our millions disappeared. It includes areas like Mafefe, Ga-Mathabatha and Modutlulo.  Everyone saved their money at the village bank,” says Maesela.

Municipal ward councillor Peter Mathabatha says the community has approached the Treasury Department in an attempt to recoup the investment.

“They were saving their money was in the village bank of Mathabatha and that bank is closed and their money is lost. We met with the Treasury at Pretoria and is whereby the National Treasury said they cannot afford to give the bank the money,” says Mathabatha.

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