VBS case postponed as more arrests loom

Seven suspects arrested in connection with the multibillion rand VBS court case appeared in the Palm Ridge Regional Court on 8 October 2020.
Seven suspects arrested in connection with the multibillion rand VBS court case appeared in the Palm Ridge Regional Court on 8 October 2020.
Image: ALON SKUY

The VBS Mutual Bank court case has been postponed to January 2021 as the state wants to add more charges and more accused.

The Hawks yesterday indicated that their investigation has shown they may be arresting more people in connection with the looting of R2bn of pensioners' money at the VBS Bank.

This was after co-accused former chief financial officer Philip Truter pleaded guilty to charges of corruption, fraud, racketeering and money laundering and was sentenced to an effective seven years in prison.

He has also struck a deal to turn state witness and SowetanLIVE understands that he has already given the state information related to the looting that took place at the bank.

Truter pleaded guilty to charges of:

  • accounting fraud for falsely inflating assets owned by VBS Bank among others;
  • corruption in that he accepted gratification of about R5m;
  • another charge of fraud;
  • money laundering in that money was paid to companies as part of proceeds from the money stolen from the bank to avoid prosecution for corruption;
  • racketeering and failure to submit his 2018 income tax returns to Sars.

All seven accused appeared briefly at the specialised commercial crimes court sitting at the Palm Ridge court.

They included former VBS chairperson Tshifhiwa Calvin Matodzi, former CEO Andile Ramavhunga, former treasurer Phophi Mukhodobwane, former non-executive board members Ernest Nesane and Paul Magula, the former CFO of the SA Police Service Phalaphala Avhashoni Ramikosi, and former KPMG engagement partner Sipho Malaba.

They will appear again on January 26 2021.

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