Three suspects are expected to appear in the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crimes Court on Wednesday on charges of corruption and money laundering for allegedly investing municipal funds with VBS Mutual Bank.

A 57-year-old former Municipal Manager of the Fetakgomo-Greater Tubatse Municipality in Limpopo, a 39-year-old former Chief Financial Officer in the municipality, and a business owner are charged with contravention of the Municipal Finance Management Act.

The Fetakgomo-Greater Tubatse Local Municipality is said to have invested R230-million, which was paid between November 2016 and February 2018.

None of the cash was paid back to the investors.

Great Bank Heist report 

In 2018, VBS was declared insolvent and bankrupt.

It was placed under curatorship, with scores of clients and municipalities defrauded of a total of around R2-billion.

In the same year, a forensic investigation into the Bank has revealed wide range criminality in the conduct of the bank’s officials and their associates.

The “Great Bank Heist” report details how almost R2 billion was gratuitously received from VBS by some fifty three persons of interest, both natural and juristic, over the period 1 March 2015 to 17 June 2018.

Investigator and author of the report Advocate Terry Motau provides more details: 

Thabo Mokoena 

Meanwhile, the corruption trial against former municipal manager of the Mahikeng Local Municipality in the North West, Thabo Mokoena has been set for the 15th of February next year.

This is to allow his legal representative to obtain the contents of the case docket as according to the court the investigations has been finalised.

Mokoena is facing a fraud and corruption charge after he allegedly invested R92-million of the municipality’s funds in the now collapsed VBS Mutual Bank.

He was arrested in Klerksdorp and is out on R50 000 bail.  Only R7-million of the R92-million invested in VBS was paid back to the municipality.

-Additional reporting by Sylvester Serame