'I’m among the first blacks who probably bought Lamborghinis' - VBS bank investor living high life
The troubled VBS Mutual Bank may be in ruins, but one of its main bosses is living it up.
A helicopter, a Rolls Royce, Two G63 Mercedes Benz monsters as well as Audi R8 sport car are among the toys said to belong to Robert Madzonga - CEO to the bank's majority shareholder company, Vele Investments.
Madzonga's wife, Khosi, regularly posted pictures of herself with the vehicles on social media but appears to have removed them recently following controversy surrounding VBS's collapse.
Asked yesterday if he owned the articles and whether his wealth was as a result of VBS, Madzonga said his wealth and taste for cars predated his involvement with the bank.
"I joined Vele owning more than 20 cars. I'm among the first blacks who probably bought Lamborghinis and Ferraris in the 1990s. My role model was Johann Rupert. Johann Rupert has 100 cars worth billions," he said referring to the famous Stellenbosch Afrikaner billionaire.
He said he bought the cars with his hard-earned money.
"I've been working for more than 30 years, I used to own car garages. Even now I still sell cars," Madzonga said, adding he was unfairly blamed for the problems at VBS despite the fact that he is not an employee and only joined Vele about five months ago.
"For me to be a [Good] Samaritan and assist a black bank which is coming from my home town, I find myself being brushed with a brush of corruption." He said he hoped investigations into issues at the bank would reveal the truth and result in those responsible being prosecuted.
Vele Investments, which owns 53% of VBS Mutual Bank, and its executives have been thrust into the spotlight after the bank collapsed under the weight of hundreds of millions of rands in unpaid overdrafts, bonds and loans. About R900-million is unaccounted for.
The Sunday Times reported at the weekend that some of VBS's money had been used on a luxury spree in Venda King Toni Ramabulana's name.
The spending spree included a R12-million helicopter for Ramabulana which his office told Sunday Times had been used by Madzonga and VBS chairman Tshifhiwa Matodzi.
Madzonga, however, said he knew nothing about a helicopter gift to the king as the alleged purchase was made before he started working at Vele.
However, he said he had occasionally used helicopters belonging to a subsidiary under Vele called Inshare for trips to business meetings.
In the images circulating on social media, Khosi flaunts the expensive toys. The images surfaced amid allegations that millions of rands from the troubled bank were used to finance the lavish lives of some company executives and Ramabulana. The Sunday Times reported that Ramabulana had received hefty gifts from the bank.
Suspended Vele Investments chair Maanda Manyatse also alleged the company [Vele] acquired VBS shares fraudulently without payment.
Ramabulana denied being financed by the bank while Madzonga accused Manyatse of lying, saying he [Madzonga] invested R18-million of his own money into VBS on realising it was facing problems.