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VBS arrests | Suspects due in court on Thursday to face 47 counts

VBS arrests | Suspects due in court on Thursday to face 47 counts

Hawks boss advocate Godfrey Lebeya.

Hawks boss advocate Godfrey Lebeya.

  • 4 of the eight suspects have been arrested, three others are anticipated at hand themselves over and one stays in Covid-19 quarantine.
  • Suspects anticipated to seem in Palm Ridge Regional Court docket on Thursday.
  • The lads face 47 counts of corruption, racketeering, cash laundering, fraud and theft.

Eight VBS suspects are as a result of seem within the Palm Ridge Regional Court docket on Thursday on 47 counts of fraud, racketeering, corruption, theft and cash laundering.

The eight males accrued R122-million to themselves unduly, straight and not directly, over a number of months, Hawks head Lieutenant Common Godfrey Lebeya mentioned throughout a media briefing on Wednesday.

Lebeya and nationwide director of public prosecutions, avdocate Shamila Batohi supplied an replace on an early-morning operation in Gauteng and Limpopo to nab the lads, who they haven’t formally named.

MUST READ | VBS gang goes down – here’s everything you need to know

Information24 understands that amongst these arrested are former VBS chairman Tshifhiwa Matodzi, who was described because the “kingpin” of the VBS looting scheme that resulted in additional than R2 billion being stolen from the financial institution’s coffers.

Lebeya gave an in depth breakdown of the fees and confirmed that the arrests had been accompanied by search and seizure operations. Whereas he wouldn’t be drawn into element, he did verify the investigation was ongoing. 

Of the eight males, 4 have been taken into custody, three are set at hand themselves over in a while Wednesday and one man stays in quarantine as a result of Covid-19.

47 counts 

The lads will face a cumulative of 47 counts, damaged down as follows:

  • 5 counts of a “sample of racketeering actions” in contravention of the Prevention of Corrupt Actions Act
  • 12 counts of widespread regulation theft
  • 7 counts of fraud
  • 15 counts of corruption by way of contravening the Prevention and Combatting of Corrupt Actions act and;
  • 7 counts of cash laundering

This quantities to 46 counts in whole, and it’s unclear if Lebeya erred or omitted a rely.

“The rip-off was hatched on the four July 2017 when the board of administrators for VBS authorised monetary statements for the yr ending 31 March 2017 making VBS to look richer whereas it was in actual fact bancrupt. The monetary statements had been shockingly inflated,” Lebeya mentioned.

Information24 reported on Wednesday that along with Matodzi, the opposite males who will seem in court docket on Thursday embrace former VBS CEO Andile Ramavhunga and former Vele Investments and VBS chief working officer Robert Madzonga.

READ | Hawks arrest VBS ‘kingpin’ Tshifhiwa Matodzi and other directors in early morning raid

Moreover former VBS treasury Phophi Mukhodobwane, former VBS chief monetary officer Philip Truter and former non-executive VBS board members Ernest Nesane and Paul Magula are additionally set to be charged.

Nesane and Magula had been staff of the Public Funding Company (PIC)  who had been seconded to the board to take care of the PIC’s funding in VBS, in addition to Phalaphala Ramikosi – former SAPS chief monetary officer and a non-executive director of VBS. 

Different accuseds

Sipho Malaba, the previous KPMG engagement accomplice who was in command of the financial institution’s audits, can also be as a result of seem in court docket.

Lebeya didn’t make clear which of the lads had been in quarantine however mentioned procedures in place to safeguard towards the unfold of Covid-19 can be adhered to in guaranteeing he appeared earlier than court docket.

Lebeya mentioned the arrests stem from a prison docket that was registered in Might 2019 following a grievance by the South African Reserve Financial institution.

The Prudential Authority, which regulates the banking sector and is a division of the SARB, appointed advocate Terry Motau to research the affairs of VBS in 2018.

His report, titled The Nice Financial institution Heist, was revealed in late 2018, and beneficial a raft of fees towards the financial institution’s board and administration, in addition to those that benefitted from the looting.

This contains politicians and their members of the family.

Labour intensive

Bathohi mentioned they’d not hesitate to prosecute any particular person whom the proof pointed to.

“Investigations of this magnitude are sophisticated and labour intensive,” Lebeya mentioned.

He defined {that a} crew of 15 investigators, a few of whom are on secondment from the Detective Service of the SAPS, was put collectively in August 2018.

Greater than 1 000 statements had been taken in the middle of the investigation up to now, he mentioned.

Batohi echoed his sentiments, and mentioned that “regrettably, high quality investigations and prosecutions take time and endurance”. 

She praised the crew of Nationwide Prosecuting Service prosecutors who led the investigation, saying it confirmed the significance and worth of prosecutor-led investigations that the case had been introduced earlier than court docket inside two years. 

“Teamwork is a recipe for achievement,” Lebeya mentioned.

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