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VBS fraud accused granted bail of R50,000 each

Iavan Pijoos Journalist
VBS Mutual Bank customers in Thohoyandou, Limpopo. File photo.
SOvbs VBS Mutual Bank customers in Thohoyandou, Limpopo. File photo.
Image: ANTONIO MUCHAVE

Two government officials and a businessperson arrested in connection with the VBS Mutual Bank looting scandal were each granted bail of R50,000 in the Pretoria specialised commercial crimes court on Wednesday.

The trio — Nkhono Johannes Mohlala, 57, former municipal manager of Fetakgomo- Greater Tubatse local municipality; Tumelo Given Ratau, 39, former CFO of the municipality; and Keaobaka Remigious Kgatiteroe, 41, owner of Kelotlhoko Property Services — were arrested when the Hawks swooped on their Pretoria homes on Tuesday morning.

They were charged under the Municipal Finance Management Act and for corruption and money laundering.

Hawks spokesperson Brig Nomthandazo Mbambo said the investigation revealed that the municipality invested R230m, “which was paid in five tranches from November 15 2016 to February 19 2018".

“The whole amount invested was never paid back to the municipality,” Mbambo said.

The matter was postponed to March 1 2022.

The bank was placed under curatorship in March 2018 after a severe liquidity crisis.

Fourteen other people accused of looting VBS are due back in the high court in Pretoria in January. They are charged with racketeering, corruption, fraud, theft and money laundering.

Seven other accused were arrested in June last year.

In October last year, former VBS CFO Phillip Truter pleaded guilty to charges of fraud, corruption, money laundering and racketeering. He was sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment, with three years suspended.

TimesLIVE


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