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WRAP | VBS arrests form part of 'ongoing investigation' - Hawks boss

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17 Jun 2020

Nearly two years after a R2-billion theft of VBS Mutual Bank funds was laid bare, investigations into the matter are moving with haste, according Hawks boss advocate Godfrey Lebeya.

Lebeya and National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) head, advocate Shamila Batohi briefed the media on Wednesday after several arrests were made relating to the matter in an early morning blitz.

Members of the Hawks conducted a simultaneous search and seizure operation in 10 premises in Gauteng and Limpopo provinces, Lebeya revealed.

What's more, the team also executed warrants of arrests on four suspects while three other suspects are expected to hand themselves today.

The eighth suspect has been affected by Covid-19 and is currently in quarantine.

The suspects will be charged with 47 counts of various criminal offences.

These are five counts of a pattern of racketeering activities, 12 for theft, common law offence, seven for fraud, 15 counts for corruption and seven counts for money laundering.

"The investigation has revealed that the eight suspects either unduly, directly or indirectly benefited more than R120 million," said Lebeya, adding that the investigation revealed that 20 municipalities deposited an amount of R3.7 billion, of which R2.2 billion was paid back.

While the two heads were hesitant on being specific on the details of the investigation, Lebeya was at pains to point out  that they are conducting an "ongoing investigation".

The suspects in this case are expected to appear in the Palm Ridge Regional Court on Thursday. 

Meanwhile, Batohi said: "Although it is imperative that we move with speed to finalise these matters, the team has to be meticulous and go through all the evidence with a fine tooth comb".

"We need to deliver justice to in this matter. It is our duty to the direct victims of corruption in this particular matter. Our actions will speak for themselves," said Batohi.

<p>Nearly two years after a R2-billion theft of VBS Mutual Bank funds was laid bare, investigations into the matter are moving with haste, according Hawks boss advocate Godfrey Lebeya.</p><p>Lebeya and National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) head, advocate Shamila Batohi briefed the media on Wednesday after several arrests were made relating to the matter in an early morning blitz.</p><p>Members of the Hawks conducted a simultaneous search and seizure operation in 10 premises in Gauteng and Limpopo provinces, Lebeya revealed. </p><p>What's more, the team also executed warrants of arrests on four suspects while three other suspects are expected to hand themselves today. </p><p>The eighth suspect has been affected by Covid-19 and is currently in quarantine.</p><p>The suspects will be charged with 47 counts of various criminal offences. </p><p>These are five counts of a pattern of racketeering activities, 12 for theft, common law offence, seven for fraud, 15 counts for corruption and seven counts for money laundering.</p><p>"The investigation has revealed that the eight suspects either unduly, directly or indirectly benefited more than R120 million," said Lebeya, adding that the investigation revealed that 20 municipalities deposited an amount of R3.7 billion, of which R2.2 billion was paid back.</p><p>While the two heads were hesitant on being specific on the details of the investigation, Lebeya was at pains to point out&nbsp; that they are conducting an "ongoing investigation".</p><p>The suspects in this case are expected to appear in the Palm Ridge Regional Court on Thursday.&nbsp;</p><p>Meanwhile, Batohi said: "Although it is imperative that we move with speed to finalise these matters, the team has to be meticulous and go through all the evidence with a fine tooth comb".</p><p>"We need to deliver justice to in this matter. It is our duty to the direct victims of corruption in this particular matter. Our actions will speak for themselves," said Batohi.</p>

17 Jun 2020

We are determined that those responsible for what has been termed "the biggest bank robbery in this country" are brought to book, Batohi says, during the Q&A.

Now Lebeya: We can't say that [certain] individuals will be arrested, just watch the space. The method of our investigation is that we will not name people before they appear before court. We will not be indicating how many people will be charged or prosecuted. 

17 Jun 2020

The investigation continues, says Lebeya, during the question and answer.

"The investigation will guide us. We will follow the evidence," he says. 

17 Jun 2020

We need time and patience, says Batohi who says she shares in the impatience of the public.

"We need to ensure we deliver on all fronts. I feel and share the impatience of the public, but we want to assure you that there is a lot of behind the scenes work "under difficult circumstances"".

17 Jun 2020

Batohi: We need to deliver justice to in this matter. It is our duty to the direct victims of corruption in this particular matter.

17 Jun 2020

Batohi is now speaking: The investigating teams have to be meticulous and painstakingly go through evidence with fine tooth comb. There is still more to be done, even with today's developments.

17 Jun 2020

Various criminal offences are at play, says Lebeya such as racketeering, theft, fraud, money laundering and corruption.


17 Jun 2020

Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation Godfrey Lebeya speaks first. He says the investigation into VBS Mutual Bank started in August 2018.

17 Jun 2020

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

Matodzi, former chairperson of VBS Mutual Bank and its shareholder Vele Investments, is the alleged kingpin behind R2-billion theft of the bank’s funds.

Others expected to be arrested include former senior VBS and Vele executives Andile Ramavhunga, Phophi Mukhodobwane, Phillip Truter and Robert Madzonga.

By Kyle Cowan

17 Jun 2020

EXCLUSIVE | Action expected soon on VBS looting - Hawks head

Hawks head Lieutenant General Godfrey Lebeya says he expects imminent action in the case against those responsible for looting the now-defunct VBS Mutual Bank.

In an exclusive interview with News24 at his office in Silverton, Pretoria this week, Lebeya said that certain "legs" of the VBS investigation had been finalised and were "ready" to go.

2019 report by Mandy Wiener

17 Jun 2020

Explosive report into VBS Mutual Bank reveals large-scale 'looting'

A final investigation report into large-scale fraud at VBS Mutual Bank has recommended that more than 50 individuals be criminally charged and held liable in civil proceedings, following the bank's implosion earlier this year.

This includes the bank's former executives and their associates, shareholder executives, politicians and their relatives and auditors who signed off on the bank's "fraudulent" financials.

2018 report by Kyle Cowan

17 Jun 2020

WhatsApp messages show how VBS payments flowed to trusts linked to Malema, Shivambu - report

A series of WhatsApps uncovered by Scorpio reveal a pattern of VBS Mutual Bank money channelled to EFF leaders Julius Malema and Floyd Shivambu.

Malema has in the past claimed that the EFF never received VBS money and Shivambu accused Scorpio journalist Pauli van Wyk of "dubious agendas".

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