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Former Merafong Municipality CFO becomes ninth person charged in VBS matter

Thys Wienekus has been charged with irregular expenditure under the Municipal Finance Management Act for his role in depositing R50 million with VBS Mutual Bank.

VBS Mutual Bank in Thohoyandou. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Former CFO at the Merafong Municipality Thys Wienekus has been charged with irregular expenditure under the Municipal Finance Management Act for his role in depositing R50 million rand with VBS Mutual Bank.

He's become the latest accused in the scandal after seven former bank executives and directors were charged last week.

Wienekus appeared in the North Gauteng Commercial Division Court earlier on Thursday morning.

The charge sheet said that Wienekus made the R50 million investment in VBS Mutual Bank on the instruction of municipal manager Romeo Mohaudi but he knew that investments with VBS were not permitted.

It goes on to say that he informed Mohaudi accordingly but he instructed him to make the investment anyway, so he followed the unlawful instruction.

The Hawks have said that 20 municipalities deposited R3.5 billion with VBS before its collapse and R1.5 billion was still outstanding.

In his report The Great Bank Heist, Advocate Terry Motau said “VBS went on a concerted and deliberate campaign to attract very substantial deposits from municipalities and made payment of so-called 'commissions' to solicit such deposits".

He pointed out that in many instances, they included the payment of bribes to various public officials who were in a position to influence the making of such deposits.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said that Wienekus had been released on a warning and the court would hold a plea and sentencing hearing on 29 July.

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