VBS 'looting kingpin flees' home

Former chairman of VBS Mutual Bank Tshifhiwa Matodzi is adamant he did nothing wrong in the collapse of the bank.
Former chairman of VBS Mutual Bank Tshifhiwa Matodzi is adamant he did nothing wrong in the collapse of the bank.
Image: Mduduzi Ndzingi

Former VBS chairperson and the bank's alleged looting kingpin Tshifhiwa Matodzi has "fled" an upmarket Bryanston, Johannesburg, home after paying R600 000 rental upfront for a year.

Matodzi, his wife and two children, moved into the property in January but allegedly abandoned it last month over safety concerns. The family apparently left the five-
bedroom house following the release of the damning "Great Bank Heist" report by advocate Terry Motau, which alleged that Matodzi personally benefitted to the tune of R325m from the alleged looting of VBS.

Matodzi's landlord, who asked not to be named, is now accusing him of sending threatening SMSes following a dispute over access to the property. The landlord, who was under guard by heavily armed security officers, said he did not trust anyone because "I'm [being] followed by cars I don't know".

He said he was notified by his estate agent last month that Matodzi and his family have vacated the house, a year and three months before the lease lapsed.

"The agent phoned me and informed me these guys (Matodzis) have made a run and there's nothing in the house, it's a complete mess," he said.

When Sowetan visited the house yesterday, several of Matodzi's belongings, including a gas braai, curtains, a hammock, a framed BSc accounting certificate from UJ and furniture were still in the house that has now been put on sale.

The luxury house - which is expected to fetch over R7m when sold - has four bathrooms, three garages, two fireplaces and parking space that can take up to eight cars.

... the rent is fully paid till February next year.

The Matodzis lived in the home under a 24-hour security surveillance. The landlord said he has since taken ownership of the house after failing to get the Matodzis to explain what was happening.

"I took control of the house because there was 15 remotes programmed to the house... which was meant for four people," he said.

When approached for comment yesterday, Matodzi said water and electricity were cut off by the City of Johannesburg despite him having paid the landlord for the services.

"This man is trying to take advantage of the VBS situation. We don't owe him anything as the rent is fully paid till February next year."

Matodzi accused the landlord of keeping the money they had been paying for water and lights, leaving them disconnected in the middle of winter. "We couldn't find him at the time until [he] emerged in a rehab centre... this man has his own issues to deal with."

He said after the VBS saga hit the news in October, the landlord contacted his family and told them to leave the house.

He denied abandoning the property, saying he did not live on the property full time.

"We just rented his house because it was closer to schools and to the house we're building, I have lots of houses and didn't go to his house because I'm desperate," he said.

Matodzi accused the landlord of stealing some of his property, including a generator worth around R100 000.

The landlord said after un-programming all the remote controls to the house, the Matodzis and their bodyguards threatened him.

The landlord has since opened two cases of intimidation and assault at the Honeydew and Sandton police stations.

Sowetan has seen a letter written to the Matodzis by the landlord's lawyers alerting them that they have forfeited their two-months' rental deposit for vacating the property without a notice.

Matodzi showed Sowetan a City of Joburg termination notice dated October 29 which showed that the property owed R83 272 24 for unpaid services.

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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