VBS Mutual Bank looting: North West basic education dept administrator among three people arrested

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The Hawks arrested three more suspects in connection with the looting of VBS Mutual Bank.
The Hawks arrested three more suspects in connection with the looting of VBS Mutual Bank.
Felix Dlangamandla/Gallo Images
  • The Hawks have arrested three more people in connection with VBS Mutual Bank looting allegations.
  • A former municipal manager is among the three.
  • The former municipal manager is now an administrator at the Department of Basic Education but he will be removed. 

The Department of Basic Education (DBE) has indicated that it will take action against an administrator who was arrested alongside two people on Tuesday in connection with VBS Mutual Bank looting allegations.

News24 earlier reported that the Hawks said three people - a 57-year-old former municipal manager of the Fetakgomo-Greater Tubatse Local Municipality in Limpopo, a 39-year-old former chief financial officer and a 41-year-old business owner - were arrested at their Pretoria homes on Tuesday.

According to DBE spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga, the former municipal manager now works for the department in the North West as an administrator.

Mhlanga pointed out that the charges stem from his previous role as municipal manager of the Fetakgomo-Greater Tubatse Municipality.

The three people are expected to appear in the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crimes Court on Wednesday.

READ | VBS Mutual Bank looting: Hawks arrest 3 more suspects

They face charges of corruption, money laundering and the contravention of Section 173 of the Municipal Finance Management Act.

The Hawks allege that the municipal officials invested an amount of R230 million "which was paid in five trenches from 15 November 2016 to 19 February 2018". The amount invested was never paid back to the municipality, it is alleged.

Mhlanga said Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga noted the administrator's arrest and would swiftly appoint another one.

"The Department of Education, together with other departments, in the North West was placed under administration (in terms of Section 100 (1b) in 2019 following irregularities related, among others, to supply chain, finance, human resources and audit findings of the Auditor-General. 

"The administrator was appointed to assist the department with a turnaround plan."

Mhlanga added:

At the time of appointment, there were no charges levelled at him and his assumption of duty as an administrator was approved at the appropriate platforms.

News24 previously reported that at least 17 people were arrested in connection with looting of the bank.

The bank's former CFO, Philip Truter, pleaded guilty to several charges, including theft, corruption, fraud and money laundering last year. He received a reduced sentence after he turned State witness.

The arrest of the Pretoria businesswoman and the two former Fetakgomo-Greater Tubatse Local Municipality officials, comes just over four months after three former West Rand District Municipality employees were arrested for allegedly investing municipal funds with the bank.

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