VBS bank heist: Eighth suspect Phillip Truter intends pleading guilty to all charges - state

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  • The eighth suspect in the VBS saga, senior executive Phillip Truter has appeared in the Palm Ridge Magistrate's Court.
  • He was in quarantine when the seven co-accused were arrested weeks back and granted R100 000 bail each.
  • He was granted bail of R50 000 and will be admitted to a mental health facility.

The eighth suspect in the VBS Mutual Bank fraud case, Phillip Truter, appeared in the Commercial Crimes Court on Monday, with the State indicating he intends pleading guilty to all the charges.

Truter, the former VBS chief financial officer, was granted bail of R50 000. The Commercial Crimes Court was sitting in the Palm Ridge Magistrate's Court.

Prosecutor Hein van der Merwe told the court that the State was in plea negotiations with Truter, indicating the accused intended to plead guilty to all the charges.

Truter was also expected to be admitted into Vista Clinic on Monday afternoon - pending his Covid-19 test results - as his psychological condition had deteriorated over the past few weeks, the court heard.

READ | 'We must bow out with pride' - VBS boss Tshifhiwa Matodzi

This comes after he was arrested on Friday by the serious corruption investigation team, Hawks spokesperson Colonel Katlego Mogale said.

The man could not appear with his co-accused on 18 June as he was in quarantine for Covid-19.

"The suspect who could not be arrested a few weeks ago has recovered from his ailment and is expected to appear in the Palm Ridge Specialised Commercial Crimes Court on Monday, facing 47 charges of fraud, theft, money laundering, corruption and racketeering," Mogale said.

READ | VBS Bank: 8th arrest made as senior exec due in court after quarantine

News24 previously reported that his co-accused each pleaded not guilty to the multiple charges they face.

They were also subsequently granted R100 000 bail each and are due back in court on 8 October 2020.

Among the accused are former VBS chairperson Tshifhiwa Matodzi, who was described as the alleged "kingpin" of the looting scheme, VBS CEO Andile Ramavhunga, former VBS treasurer Phophi Mukhodobwane, and former non-executive VBS board members, Ernest Nesane and Paul Magula.

In addition, former KPMG engagement partner Sipho Malaba, and Phalaphala Avhashoni Ramikosi, the former chief financial officer of the South African Police Service, are also part of the group of accused, News24 reported.

The matter was postponed for further investigations.

Truter will be back in the Palm Ridge Magistrates Court along with his co-accused on 8 October 2020.

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