VBS looters unmasked

VBS Mutual Bank chairperson Tshifhiwa Matodzi and CEO Andile Ramavhunga. Matodzi has been fingered to be at the centre of the grand scale looting at the bank.
VBS Mutual Bank chairperson Tshifhiwa Matodzi and CEO Andile Ramavhunga. Matodzi has been fingered to be at the centre of the grand scale looting at the bank.

Former Vele Investments CEO Maanda Manyatshe, who is implicated in the damning VBS report, claims R3m paid to him by the bank was related to his travel expenses.

Manyatshe was paid R11.2m according to the report which laid bare how the bank was looted of more than R1.8bn in just over three years by 53 persons of interest.

Manyatshe said he was never an "official employee of the VBS".

He said he was a director of the majority shareholder of bank after the company, Vele Investments, had bought a stake in his company.

"I was appointed a director of Vele Investments in September last year after Vele had paid R8m advance of R128m to buy a stake in my company but
the transaction was not completed," Manyatshe said.

He added: "The R3m was for my travelling expenses as I was flying between Cape Town and Johannesburg."

Another implicated person in the report, ANC deputy chairperson in Limpopo and Vhembe district municipality mayor, Florence Radzilani, flatly denied allegations levelled against her.

Radzilani, under whose tenure the municipality invested R300m in the embattled bank, was placed at the centre of WhatsApp messages between a "politically connected fixer" Kabelo Matsepe and VBS chairman Tshifiwa Matodzi.

Radzilani yesterday told Sowetan that she had never met Matsepe or Matodzi.

She said: "In fact, I am studying the report after someone sent me a message about the allegations."

Radzilani claimed the allegations were unfounded and even alleged that "even the person who is talking about me sending him an SMS, I don't even know that person."

She claimed to have "never had any interactions with any person from VBS".

Julius Malema tweet
Julius Malema tweet

ANC provincial treasurer Danny Msiza, who is alleged to have been a kingpin of what the report referred to as "the commission agent" could not be reached for comment.

Msiza earlier denied any wrongdoing saying the relationship VBS had with most municipalities and other public sector institutions in Limpopo "pre-dates my tenure as provincial treasurer".

ANC provincial secretary Soviet Lekganyane said the party was worried that two of the party's top official were implicated.

"We are extremely worried about the report and we don't take it lightly. It has the potential to damage the good image of the ANC. The report will be discussed in the coming provincial executive committee meeting, and will sought guidance from the members," he said.

The explosive findings of a damning report into the failure of VBS Mutual Bank reveals how its architects and accomplices stole a bank. Business Day’s Warren Thompson explains what is happening at the bank.

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