Bank faces probe after loan to Zuma

2016-09-21 06:00

JOHANNESBURG. Z The bank that came to the rescue of Pres. Jacob Zuma Z by granting him a loan to repay his R7,8 million Nkandla debt Z now faces a possible probe.

This probe is from the Financial Services Board (FSB) relating to a R136 million loan it was said to have given to a company in which its chairperson and chief operating officer (COO) have an interest.

The loan was for a 54% stake in the fuel company Afric Oil.

A dossier, sent to the board by a whistle-blower revealed that in the last financial year, Venda Building Society (VBS) Mutual Bank allegedly loaned R136 million to Vele Investments,.

Vele Investments is apparently a company in which the bank’s chairperson, Tshifhiwa Matodzi, and its COO, Robert Madzonga, have undeclared interests.

According to the whistle-blower, Matodzi and Madzonga did not declare their interests in Vele to VBS, and the loan to their company was not approved by the bank’s board.

Apparently the matter has also been brought to the attention of the South African Reserve Bank.

The Reserve Bank and FSB have regulatory oversight in the banking and financial services sectors, with the former having direct powers over banks.

The dossier bears the name of Dyambeu Investments.

This company apparently holds a 26% stake in VBS.

Dyambeu is co-owned by construction magnate David Mabilu and vhaVenda King Mphephu Ramabulana.

VBS’ decision to finance Zuma’s debt came two weeks after the courts barred the president from crowning Ramabulana as King.

The coincidence between the bank’s decision to finance Zuma’s loan and the president’s decision to crown King Ramabulana has raised speculation that the loan is linked to the fights over the vhaVenda dynasty.

On Friday (16/09) Mbulaheni Mphephu, a member of the vhaVenda royal family, told the media that he questions the timing of Zuma’s loan and his decision to crown King Ramabulana.

“It (the court battle over his kingship) is ready to go to trial.

“Then all of a sudden this year we heard that Zuma would coronate Ramabulana.

“It did not make sense to us.


“Surely he would wait for the case to be heard first?

“It was just a few months.

“Why would you coronate the king when a trial date has been set, then followed by the pronouncement of the loan?” said Mphephu.

The king’s spokesperson, Chief Livhuwani Matsila, dismissed this.

Matsila said, “silly and childish allegations around this issue do not deserve the King’s response.”

He said King Ramabulana would not comment on the loan issue.

Matsila further commented that, “VBS management is the only competent and responsible authority who can provide clarity on loans.”
Z City Press

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