Sarb recommends over 50 people be charged over VBS Bank fraud

The bank was placed under curatorship following allegations that senior executives looted funds for personal use.

FILE: Picture: VBS Mutual Bank Facebook page

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Reserve Bank (Sarb) has published a final investigation report into the fraud at VBS Mutual Bank and recommended more than 50 people be criminally charged.

The bank was placed under curatorship in March this year while five of its executives have been provisionally sequestrated.

Nedbank then came forward to assist VBS clients to access their funds.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the reserve bank says that it has handed over a copy of the investigation report to the law enforcement authorities and that it is not a reflection of either guilt or innocence of any party as they haven't been given an opportunity to respond.

Advocate Terry Motau submitted his investigation report to the Reserve Bank last week which reveals widespread looting and subsequent cover-ups.

Motau reveals how many VBS directors and executives have confessed to their crimes and detailed how they pocketed millions in undue benefits and kickbacks in exchange for keeping quiet about the looting.

The report exposes how middlemen, who acted as fixers between VBS Bank and municipalities, paid bribes to municipal officials to secure deposits into the bank.

Motau says Tshifhiwa Matodzi - who was the chairman of both VBS and its majority shareholder Vele Investments - is the kingpin of the entire scheme.

Vele and its associates received more than R900 million, while Matodzi personally pocketed more than R300 million.