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Those responsible for fraudulent VBS deposits ‘will be held accountable’

Fourteen municipalities in the provinces invested R1.6 billion with the VBS Mutual Bank against the advice of Treasury.

FILE: Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Zweli Mkhize. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - Cooperative Governance Minister Zweli Mkhize is adamant that municipal officials and politicians responsible for fraudulent deposits with the beleaguered VBS Mutual Bank will be held accountable.

But he says it will take time for forensic investigations to be concluded.

While the North West and Gauteng have already appointed accounting firms to conduct probes, Limpopo is in the process of doing so.

Fourteen municipalities in the provinces invested R1.6 billion with the bank against the advice of Treasury.

The bank has since been placed under curatorship.

Eight of the affected municipalities are in Limpopo, three in Gauteng and another three are in the North West.

Mkhize has told the National Council of Provinces that he’s received full cooperation from MECs and mayors in getting to the bottom of the illegal deposits.

The Giyani Municipality’s former chief financial officer has already been suspended.

Mkhize says: “Whoever is found liable will be acted upon. There will be no compromise on the matter. But we need to allow the processes to prove clearly the level of culpability.”

The minister says reports that the African National Congress is looking to rescue the bank are untrue.

He says the party is only concerned that people get their money, and that those who took advantage of the funds are held responsible.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)

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