The case against seven top executives of VBS Mutual Bank has been postponed until January next year, while the state is expected to make more arrests in connection with the looting of billions of rands from the bank.
The seven suspects – who have all pleaded not guilty to charges of fraud, corruption, money laundering and racketeering – appeared at the Palm Ridge Specialised Commercial Crimes Court on Thursday.
They include alleged ringleader and former VBS chairperson Tshifhiwa Calvin Matodzi, former chief executive Andile Ramavhunga, former treasurer Phophi Mukhodobwane, former non-executive board members Ernest Nesane and Paul Magula, as well as former SA Police Service chief financial officer (CFO) Phalaphala Avhashoni Ramikosi and former KPMG engagement partner Sipho Malaba.
All seven are out on R100 000 bail each.
The ninth person to be accused in the case is former Merafong City Local Municipality CFO Matthys Wienekus, who is also expected to plead guilty and enter into a plea bargain agreement with the state.
Eighth suspect and VBS former CFO Phillip Truter was on Wednesday sentenced to seven years in prison after he entered into a plea agreement with the state.
He pleaded guilty to six counts of fraud, corruption, money laundering and racketeering in relation to the looting of the bank.
Truter has agreed to cooperate with the state and will be a star witness in the case against his former colleagues.
Prosecutor Hein van der Merwe said the postponement of the case was to allow the state to make more arrests and amend the existing charge sheet.
Van der Merwe indicated that the new docket and charge sheet would be completed before the end of the year.
“The disclosures will be done before the end of this year. This includes copies of the charge sheet and the docket. We are at an advanced stage and we’re almost ready to formalise the new charge sheet,” said Van der Merwe.
The men are accused of plundering almost R2.3 billion from the bank by allegedly falsifying VBS’s financial statements for the fiscal year ending March 2017.