More than 20 investigators involved in VBS saga: Hawks Head

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Hawks Head General Godfrey Lebeya says the unit has assigned more than 20 investigators to deal with the VBS matter. He says such a complex case requires more people due to the heavy investigative load.

The VBS saga has seen a string of arrests following allegations of looting from the bank leaving, among others, pensioners being unable to draw money from their savings.

This comes as the Hawks still have a number of vacancies that need to be filled and a backlog of cases.

Lebeya was in conversation with SABC Political Editor Mzwandile Mbeje:

“If you look at how we have been dealing with a case like VBS, a person might say there is only one matter of VBS, it means one investigator can be able to do that. But I must tell you that we have been putting more than 20 investigators to deal with this and more than 2 000 statements that need to be put together. We have already taken more than 1 000 and if you look at the charges, actually the 188 charges that suspects are facing, is equal to 188 dockets.”

In July, the former Mayor and suspended Municipal Manager of the Thulamela Municipality in Limpopo appeared in the Polokwane Specialised Commercial Crimes Court.

They are implicated in the looting and collapse of VBS Mutual Bank.

Former Mayor Avhashoni Tshifhango and the suspended Municipal Manager Emmanuel Maluleke were allegedly involved in depositing R30 million of public funds in the defunct bank.

Tshifhango and Maluleke were charged with corruption and maladministration after their arrest in February this year.

The accused have allegedly contravened the Municipal Finance Management Act, by depositing public funds that should not be deposited in a mutual bank.

As a result, the investment has been deemed improper, unlawful and the misuse of public funds.

The accused will be making their third appearance since their arrest.

They are currently out on bail of R30 000 each, which was granted to them by the Thohoyandou Magistrate’s Court earlier this year.