Nearly R2.3 billion “disappeared” at VBS, and thousands of Limpopo residents lost their savings when this bank was liquidated. In addition, there is little hope that R1.5 billion that municipalities have wrongfully invested with the mutual bank will be disbursed after the liquidation.
Godfrey Lebeya, head of the Priority Crime Investigation Directorate, announced at a news conference four people were arrested on Wednesday for the alleged fraud and corruption that led to the bank collapsing.
Three more people hand them over to the police during the day.
The seven will be charged with 47 crimes on Thursday in Palm Ridge Regional Court in Gauteng, including money laundering, fraud, theft and corruption.
An eighth suspect is being quarantined due to the COVID-19 regulations.
The Hawks’ investigation indicates that the eight – who were not named until they appeared in court – benefited directly or indirectly from R120 million from the fraud.
Among other things, they bought luxury properties in places such as Plettenberg Bay and luxury cars.
The Reserve Bank has curated VBS on March 11, 2018 when it developed cash flow problems. Within months, the Reserve Bank announced VBS could not be rescued because its problems were caused by large-scale theft and fraud.
Lebeya said Wednesday that the investigation will continue despite the initial arrests, and more people may still be apprehended.
Shamila Batohi, National Director of Public Prosecutions, has assured that politicians will also be investigated if it appears they were involved in money laundering or corruption. It is following allegations that Julius Malema, EFF leader, and Floyd Shivambu, deputy leader of the party, benefited from the VBS fraud. They deny it.