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Townhouse ombud executives suspended over R80m spent on VBS Mutual Bank

VBS Mutual Bank in Thohoyandou, Limpopo. Treasury says millions have disappeared from the bank.
VBS Mutual Bank in Thohoyandou, Limpopo. Treasury says millions have disappeared from the bank.

The board of the Community Schemes Ombud Service (CSOS) has suspended its acting chief ombud‚ Advocate Seeng Letele‚ and CFO‚ Themba Mabuya‚ pending an inquiry into allegations of gross negligence‚ dishonesty and dereliction of duty relating to an R80-million investment in VBS Mutual Bank.

They will also be investigated over an alleged failure to provide relevant information to the board relating to the investment of surplus funds‚ the board said in a statement on Tuesday.

"The suspension is on condition of full pay and subject to pending investigations and a possible disciplinary inquiry."

Ndivhuo Rabuli‚ who is the current executive for legal‚ compliance and enforcement‚ has been appointed acting chief ombud.

Nathi Dube‚ the current finance manager‚ has been appointed acting CFO.

The CSOS was established to regulate the conduct of parties within community schemes and to ensure their good governance. Community schemes are defined in the CSOS Act as “living arrangements where there is shared use of and responsibility for land/buildings such as sectional title‚ homeowners’ associations‚ retirement housing schemes‚ share block companies and housing co-operatives.”

It came into operation in October 2016 when the CSOS Act was proclaimed into law by the president with a mandate to develop and provide a dispute resolution service‚ among others.

CSOS funding is derived from levies charged to community schemes‚ fees charged for dispute resolution‚ money appropriated by parliament‚ gifts or donations made to the service with the approval of the minister of human settlements.

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