Collins Chabane municipal manager in court for allegedly receiving gifts in VBS bank scandal

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Collins Chabane Municipal manager Charlotte Ngobeni is the first to appear in the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in connection with VBS Mutual Bank looting allegations.
Collins Chabane Municipal manager Charlotte Ngobeni is the first to appear in the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in connection with VBS Mutual Bank looting allegations.
Jeanette Chabalala
  • Another government official has been linked to alleged VBS bank corruption and has appeared in the Johannesburg Commercial Crimes Court in Palm Ridge.
  • Collins Chabane municipal manager, Tsakani Ngobeni, is accused of depositing R120 million into an account at the now-defunct bank.
  • Ngobeni allegedly received gifts, including a vehicle, in exchange for the deposit.

A municipal manager who is accused of depositing about R120 million into an interest-bearing fixed deposit account at the now-defunct VBS Mutual Bank, appeared in the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in Johannesburg on Thursday.

Collins Chabane municipal manager, Tsakani Ngobeni, appeared in the court, which is sitting in the Palm Ridge Magistrate's Court, on charges of corruption and the contravention of the Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA).

The matter was postponed to 29 July to allow Ngobeni and her lawyer to prepare for a pre-trial hearing.

The case is expected to be transferred to the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.

In October 2017, Ngobeni allegedly deposited about R120 million into the interest-bearing fixed deposit account for three months.

NPA spokesperson Sipho Ngwema said on Thursday that on 31 May 2017, the municipality approved and adopted an "Investment and Cash Management Policy", which came into effect on 2 June 2017. it prohibited the municipality from making deposits into the accounts of banks that were not registered in terms of the Banks Act.

"Therefore, the municipality was not allowed to invest with VBS because it was not registered under the Banks Act.

"… [From] 28 October 2017 to 30 October 2017, Ngobeni received R51 196 for accommodation, meals, beverages, spa treatments and spa products purchased at the Fairlawns Boutique Hotel and Spa in Morningside from [an] FNB account."

Ngwema added:

This account belonged to Kabelo Matsepe, a director of Moshate Investment Group (Pty) Ltd, a political activist, and a former prominent member of the Youth League of the African National Congress in the Limpopo province.

Motsepe and 13 others collectively face 188 counts of racketeering, corruption, fraud, theft, and money laundering related to the VBS corruption scandal.

READ: VBS Bank: Collins Chabane municipal manager in court for alleged corruption

Another payment of R590 000 was allegedly made, under the reference "Commission Payment Moshate", into the VBS ATM settlement account on 30 October 2017.

The two bank accounts were allegedly controlled by Phophi Londolani Mukhodobwane, a VBS official and a co-accused in the VBS racketeering and corruption matter.

Ngwema said that, in turn, R590 000 was paid from the VBS ATM settlement account into the Moshate account on 30 October 2017.

"On 31 October 2017, a credit facility in the amount of R1.3 million was made available on the Ngobeni account for the acquisition of a Range Rover Velar, a facility that VBS had previously declined on the grounds that Ngobeni could not afford the repayments and had an inadequate credit score.

READ | Malema drops R1m damages claim against ex-EFF MP who said he confessed to getting VBS loot

"In December 2017, Matsepe sought to persuade co-accused and former VBS official, Andile Ramavhunga, and Mukhodobwane to reduce the indebtedness of Ngobeni in respect of her account to an amount of R600 000," Ngwema said.

Around 30 January 2018, Matsepe bought a Tag Heuer ladies' wristwatch at Arthur Kaplan Mall of Africa worth R28 500, which was allegedly paid for from the Matsepe FNB account. 

Matsepe then allegedly gave the wristwatch to Ngobeni in Polokwane on 30 January 2018.

VBS failed to repay the deposit of R120 million, together with accumulated interest, to the municipality.

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