Municipal manager charged for making illegal deposits into VBS Bank
Collins Chabane municipal manager Tsakani Ngobeni has joined the long list of those charged in the VBS Mutual Bank looting scandal as she is accused of having illegally deposited millions of rand to the bank.
Ngobeni briefly appeared before the Palm Ridge Specialised Commercial Crimes Court on Friday where she was charged for corruption and the contravention of the Municipal Financial Management Act (MFMA) before being released on a R50 000 bail.
At the heart of the VBS looting scandal is the theft of R2.3 billion which eventually led to the collapse of the bank and a long list of those implicated in corruption, fraud, money laundering and racketeering have appeared before court since last year, with around seven new accused expected to join them in the dock.
Ngobeni, who has been charged separately, is accused of having deposited R120 million of the municipality in violation of the MFMA and the Collins Chabane municipal policy, which dictate that municipal deposits be restricted to banks that that are registered in terms of the Banks Act, which VBS was not.
National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Sipho Ngwema said Ngobeni had allegedly been rewarded for the illegal deposit of municipal funds to the bank.
“In turn, she received gratification from people accused of being part of a racketeering enterprise who aim was to swindle VBS Mutual Bank,” Ngwema said.
According to the charge sheet, Limpopo businessman and former ANC Youth League leader Kabelo Matsepe, who was found to have been the “ runner” that sourced “business” from municipalities for VBS, had paid more than R50 000 for Ngobeni’s accommodation, meals, beverages, spa treatments and products at the Fairlawns Boutique Hotel and Spa in Morningside, Johannesburg after the deposits.
The state is also accusing Ngobeni of having received a R1.4 million credit facility from VBS for the purchase of a Land Rover after the funds were deposited, despite having been previously declined by the bank on the grounds that she could not afford repayments and had an inadequate credit score.
Matsepe had also allegedly bought a R28 500 watch for Ngobeni and pushed for her VBS vehicle loan to be reduced by more than 50%.
The VBS bank did not repay the R120 million back to the municipality, together with the cumulated interest.
Ngobeni is expected back in court on 6 May.
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