VBS heist: Bail set at R100 000 each for 7 accused

Seven men accused of defrauding VBS Mutual Bank appeared in the Palm Ridge Regional Court on 18 June 2020.
Seven men accused of defrauding VBS Mutual Bank appeared in the Palm Ridge Regional Court on 18 June 2020.
Ntwaagae Seleka/News24

Seven men accused of stealing R2.2 billion from VBS Mutual Bank, in one of the country's most widely publicised looting scandals, have each been granted R100 000 bail.

They appeared in the Palm Ridge Regional Court on Thursday, where they faced 47 charges of fraud, theft, money laundering, corruption and racketeering.

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.

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.

READ | Charges against VBS eight detail theft of R22bn and fraud for trying to cover it all up

They told the court that they were innocent and each of them pleaded not guilty to the multiple charges against them.

Magistrate Brian Nemavhidi warned them to hand over their passports to the police before 26 June.

The seven accused are expected back in the dock on 8 October where they will receive a High Court trial date.

The eighth accused, former VBS chief financial officer Philip Truter, did not appear in court because he was in quarantine due to Covid-19. He will need to lodge his own bail application.

More to follow.


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