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Legends want trustee out over stolen R8m - Bank roped in to track transaction

Letta Mbulu.
Letta Mbulu.
Image: Veli Nhlapo

The board of trustees of the Living Legends Legacy Project is pushing to have one of its members expelled after the disappearance of R8m from its coffers.

In the minutes seen by Sowetan, the resolution was taken on January 29 after a letter was submitted on January 21 to the member suspected of stealing the money.

Some of the trustees present at the meeting were luminaries Letta Mbulu, Don Mattera, Peter Magubane and Dr Wally Serote.

The member has been suspended based on the information presented by FNB that implicated him as the person who made illegal transfers from the trust's bank account to a number of third party bank accounts without the permission of the other two signatories (Mbulu and Serote) or any other trustee.

The member was asked to explain the transfers but failed to respond before the deadline of January 29 and has not communicated with the board since.

The board further intend to file an urgent application at the high court to remove the member with immediate effect.

Furthermore, the police's commercial crimes unit has applied for a section 205 for FNB to furnish it with information relating to the transfers and, more particularly, who made the payments and which account numbers the payments were made to.

"At this stage the prosecutor cannot officially issue charges against [the member] due to the pending FNB file that will demonstrate the extent of the cases," the minutes read.

FNB chief executive Lee-Anne van Zyl said in a statement: "FNB can confirm that it continues to co-operate fully with the ongoing investigation by providing the relevant records.

"Furthermore, the bank has met with the representatives of the Living Legends Legacy Project to assure them of our ongoing co-operation.

"Due to client confidentiality and the pending investigation, FNB is unable to provide any further details on the matter."

Department of arts and culture spokesperson Asanda Magaqa said: "...FNB must be held accountable. There is already [a] prima facie case of negligence on FNB's part of how a trust account governed by stringent bank regulations can have funds siphoned [off] from it without the authorisation of all signatories."

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