The South African Reserve Bank report by Advocate Terry Motau into the wide-scale looting of VBS Mutual Bank has detailed which individuals and entities benefited from the plunder.
In his foreword to the interim report, Motau hints that the VBS scandal is arguably the biggest bank heist ever pulled off in South Africa.
“More than 40 years ago the most daring heist in South Africa’s banking history took place. A group of industrious thieves, led by the elusive Mr Nightingale, skillfully tunneled their way some twenty-one metres underground into the vault of the Standard Bank in Krugersdorp. The bold bank robbers withdrew the princely sum of R400 000. They disappeared with the loot and no arrests were ever made,” Motau writes.
Read: PIC boss’ name looms large in R2bn stolen from VBS
“I have, for the past five months, investigated the sorry affairs of the VBS Mutual Bank. My report will reveal that the perpetrators of the heist at VBS made away with almost R2 billion. And they certainly did not put in anything like the hard work and effort of Mister Nightingale and his team. I trust that, in this case, arrests will be made.”
Former VBS chief executive Andile Ramavhunga.
In his report, Motau found that among the biggest direct and indirect recipients of “gratuitous payments” made by VBS were:
• Vele (VBS’s major shareholder) and its associates which received R936 669 111
• Vele chairperson Tshifhiwa Matodzi, who received R325 896 831
• The Free State Development Corporation, which received R104 130 932
• Politically connected Limpopo businessperson Kabelo Matsepe, who received R35 400 105
• Former KPMG director Sipho Malaba, who received R33 978 379
• Former VBS treasury head Phophi Mukhodobwane, who received R30 572 296
• Paul Makhavu, the legal advisor to Venda King Toni Mphephu, who received R30 461 788
• Former VBS chief operating officer Robert Madzonga who got R30 372 282
• Former VBS chief executive Andile Ramavhunga, who received R28 925 934
• One Solly Maposa, who received R24 441 877
• Gundo Wealth Solutions director Ralliom Razwinane who received R24 224 198
• A company called Firmanox which got R17 748 384
• Venda king, Toni Mphephu who received R17 729 758
• Former VBS spokesperson Ndivhuwo Khangale who received R16 830 091
• Accountant Sechaba Serote who got R16 653 458
• Former Public Investment Corporation legal head Ernest Nesane who received R16 646 086
• One Brian Shivambu who got R16 148 569
• A company called Foxburgh, which received R15 104 100
• The former executive head of the PIC’s risk and compliance, Paul Magula, who received R14 818 098
• One Charl Cilliers who got R12 683 947
• Tiisang Private Capital which received R12 489 230
• Suspended Vele Investments chairperson Maanda Manyatshe, who received R11 279 242
• VBS employee Sasa Nemabubuni, who received R9 169 288
• A company called Sabicorp, which received R8 453 585
• Former South African Police Service chief financial officer Avashoni Ramikosi, who got R5 972 288
• One Takalani Mmbi, who received R4 404 178; and
• VBS branch Manager Phillip Tshililo, who received R2 039 990.
Motau said in the report that the investigation “has revealed a wide range of criminality in the conduct of the affairs of VBS” and also at Vele Investments, the bank’s major shareholder.
VBS Mutual Bank Chairperson, Tshifhiwa Matodzi. Picture: Lucky Morajane
“Indeed, it emerges very clearly that VBS and Vele have been operated as a single criminal enterprise, with Matodzi firmly at the helm,” Motau found.
“It is imperative that those who have been identified as participating and benefitting from this criminal enterprise be charged and prosecuted.”
Motau’s recommendations include that:
• The Prudential Authority takes immediate steps to pursue criminal charges against those that have been identified as being responsible for the cover-up constituted by the publication of the fraudulent audited financial statements for the year ended 31 March 2017
• Steps be taken to lay criminal complaints against “those identified as being the perpetrators of the scheme of theft of funds from VBS; those who benefitted from the receipt of funds through theft or fraud; and those who have committed crimes involving corruption, whether as the maker of bribes or as the recipient of bribes”;
• That his report be made available to law enforcement authorities to “further investigate the crimes reported on and to seek the prosecution of the perpetrators”;
• That the SA Revenue Services be informed of the “multitude of offences” to enable it “to pursue both criminal charges and tax recovery against the offenders”;
• Those who benefited from the theft or fraud be sued and or sequestrated;
• The Asset Forfeiture Unit be brought in “to preserve and confiscate the proceeds of the crimes that have been committed”; and
• An “auditor’s liability claim be instituted by the Prudential Authority, the curator and National Treasury against KPMG for recovery of their respective damages”.
“I also recommend that urgent steps be taken to wind-up VBS. It seems clear to me that there is no prospect of saving VBS. It is corrupt and rotten to the core. Indeed, there is hardly a person in its employ in any position of authority who is not, in some way or other, complicit,” Motau found.
“Finally, as has been noted repeatedly in this report, many of those implicated in the looting of VBS are chartered accountants and some attorneys. They are not fit and proper persons to fill those offices which require utmost honesty and integrity.
“I recommend that the Prudential Authority refers complaints about these persons to the relevant professional bodies having jurisdiction so that steps can be taken to strip them of their status.”
Read the full report below: