He pleaded guilty to 33 counts

Former VBS Mutual Bank board chair Matodzi to serve 15 years in jail

Court hands sentence to Tshifiwa Matodzi for corruption, theft, fraud and money laundering

Koena Mashale Journalist
Tshifhiwa Matodzi, chairman of VBS Mutual Bank.
Tshifhiwa Matodzi, chairman of VBS Mutual Bank.
Image: Mduduzi Ndzing

Former chairperson of the now defunct VBS Mutual Bank Board, Tshifhiwa Matodzi, has been handed a 495-year sentence for theft, fraud, money laundering and a pattern of racketeering activities that culminated in the collapse of the bank.

Matodzi, 47, was sentenced at the Pretoria high court on Wednesday after he pleaded guilty to 33 charges. He was handed a 15-year sentence on each count.

However, the judge ordered that charge 2 to 33 run concurrently with count 1. This means Matodzi got an effective 15-year sentence. 

According to Hawks spokesperson Col Katlego Mogale. 

Matodzi pleaded guilty to 33 counts, which include corruption, theft, fraud, money laundering and a pattern of racketeering activities in contravention of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act.

She also said Matodzi was declared unfit to possess a firearm.

Hawks head Lt-Gen Godfrey Lebeya said the conviction was a testament to their commitment. 

“We have always maintained that we will leave no stone unturned in our pursuit of justice, and this outcome reinforces our resolve. Let this serve as a stern warning to those who believe they can escape the long arm of the law.

"The DPCI will not relent in its mission to bring criminals to justice. We are actively pursuing other suspects in this case, and they too will face the full might of the law,” said Lebeya. 

Matodzi’s involvement in the VBS Mutual Bank scandal dates back to his tenure as chairperson of the bank and its shareholder, Vele Investments. He was the alleged kingpin behind the R2bn VBS money heist.

The scandal, often referred to as the “Great Bank Heist”, saw the looting of funds from the bank, leading to its eventual collapse in March 2018. The collapse of VBS had a devastating affect on many municipalities and individual depositors who lost their savings.

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