Wednesday, 17 June 2020 13:33

File Photo.

Hawks head Lieutenant-General Godfrey Lebeya said those who had been suspected of money laundering and fraud at VBS are expected to appear in court on Thursday.

Lebeya and NPA head Shamia Batohi briefed the media on the progress made in the VBS Mutual Bank heist matter on Wednesday.

He explained that early morning simultaneous raids were conducted in Gauteng and Limpopo.

Those arrested included former VBS and Vele Investments chairperson Tshifhiwa Matodzi, the alleged kingpin behind the heist.

The arrests come nearly two years after a R2 billion theft of VBS Mutual Bank funds.

Of the R2 billion that was taken from the bank, Vele received R936 million, which was used to buy several other companies.

Batohi said the arrests mark a mammoth step in the progression of the case.

“This gives assurance that the team is hard at work and has been since this matter commenced in August 2018. 

“It gives assurance that indeed, the relevant authorities are making headway in key cases. While today’s developments are an important milestone, we all know that a lot of work still lies ahead.”

She said while it is imperative the matters are expeditiously concluded, the team has to be meticulous in probing each detail of evidence.

“We have to do this to ensure that justice does prevail and the rule of law prevails as well. We owe it to the investors of the bank, in particular, the elderly men and women of Limpopo and beyond, who lost their hard earned money and lifetime savings. We have an obligation to all South Africans to deliver justice in this matter, as they have in many ways been victimised by this crime,” Batohi said.

Pensioners and stokvel accounts held at VBS were also affected.

VBS was looted by politically connected people – leaving many poor depositors destitute.

The Reserve Bank has linked about 50 people and companies that have losses of about R2 billion at VBS.

Meanwhile the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) has welcomed the arrest of seven suspects allegedly involved in the collapse of VBS mutual bank.

This comes after the Hawks arrested four suspects during a raid on 10 properties in Gauteng and Limpopo. A further three were expected to hand themselves over to investigators, while a warrant of arrest for the eighth suspect is yet to be effected, as he is in COVID-19 isolation.

The PIC was a significant shareholder in VBS [Venda Building Society] when it was placed under curatorship by the Prudential Authority of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB).

In a statement the PIC said it believes the arrests were an important step in ensuring that those who are responsible for the collapse of VBS are held accountable.

Below is the link of the Media Briefing.

Courtesy of SABC.