The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has welcomed the bail amount granted to the accused in the VBS Mutual Bank case.

Seven of the eight suspects appeared at the Palm Ridge Regional Court in Ekhurhuleni on Thursday.

They were granted bail of R100 000 each.

On Wednesday, several top VBS Mutual Bank insiders, including Board members and the chief KPMG auditor for the bank, were arrested.

The arrests include former VBS and Vele Investments chairperson, Tshifhiwa Matodzi, the alleged kingpin of the theft of depositors’ funds from the bank.

The accused face 47 charges of fraud, racketeering, corruption, theft and money laundering which amounts to R2.3 billion.

The case resumes on October 8, 2020.

NPA spokesperson Sipho Ngwema says the state has a strong case.

“The NPA is very happy with the court’s decision to grant R100 000 bail, this is what the prosecutor wanted. This sends a good message in terms of this particular offense. There is a lot at stake in terms of the accused coming back and therefore that amount secures that they [will] come back. We are almost ready to start with the trial, as you know the indictment was served today (Thursday). We hope that on the 18th we will be able to deal with any preliminary issues that are raised,” explains Ngwema.

In the video below, the accused appear in court: 

Arrests welcomed

Meanwhile, the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) has welcomed the arrests.

The PIC was a significant shareholder in VBS when it was placed under curatorship by the Prudential Authority of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB).

It says the arrests are an important step in ensuring those who were responsible for the collapse of VBS are held accountable.

The National Director of Public Prosecutions Advocate Shamila Batohi has also welcomed the arrests.

One of the investors in the liquidated VBS Mutual Bank and former Board Chairperson, Madambi Muvhulawa, says investors and depositors are also pleased with the arrests. 

Muvhulawa says properties of those implicated in the looting must be sold for depositors to recoup their money. 

Ordinary depositors who invested over R300 000 each have not yet received their money back.

Senior Legal Journalist Karyn Maughan gives analysis of the arrest and its implications: