PIC welcomes VBS Bank arrests

Hawks boss advocate Godfrey Lebeya.
Hawks boss advocate Godfrey Lebeya.
  • The PIC welcomed arrests over the looting of VBS Mutual Bank, saying it was a "significant shareholder" in the bank.
  • Eight people have been arrested by the Hawks, including the "kingpin" of the scheme, VBS chairperson Tshifhiwa Matodzi.
  • Hawks boss Lieutenant General Godfrey Lebeya and NPA head Shamila Batohi gave an update on the arrests after years of investigations.

The Public Investment Corporation (PIC) has welcomed the arrests of people linked to collapse of VBS Mutual Bank.

In a statement on Thursday, corporate affairs head Deon Botha said that PIC had been a "significant shareholder" in VBS when Prudential Authority placed it under curatorship.

"The PIC believes the arrests are an important step in ensuring that those who were responsible for the collapse of VBS are held accountable.

"The PIC has been fully cooperating with investigations by law enforcement agencies following the release of the advocate Terry Motau SC's forensic report into the collapse of VBS.

"The PIC will continue to co-operate with these agencies until the VBS matter is finally settled," Botha said.

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

On Wednesday, the Hawks announced that eight VBS suspects were due to appear in the Palm Ridge Regional Court on Thursday on 47 counts of fraud, racketeering, corruption, theft and money laundering.

It is alleged the eight benefited unduly from R122 million over several months.

Hawks head Lieutenant General Godfrey Lebeya and National Director of Public Prosecution Shamila Batohi gave an update on the arrests on Wednesday, after an operation in Gauteng and Limpopo.

"The scam was hatched on the 4 July 2017 when the board of directors for VBS approved financial statements for the year ending 31 March 2017, making VBS to look richer while it was in fact insolvent. The financial statements were shockingly inflated," Lebeya said.

ALSO READ | Suspects due in court on Thursday to face 47 counts - Lebeya

It is understood that among those arrested are former VBS chairperson Tshifhiwa Matodzi – described as the kingpin of the VBS looting scheme, which saw more than R2 billion being stolen from the bank, News24 reported.

Also included is VBS CEO Andile Ramavhunga.

Terry Motau was appointed by Prudential Authority to investigate VBS in 2018 and produced a report entitled "The Great Bank Heist".

He recommended charges against the board of the bank, its management and those who benefited from the looting.

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