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7 suspects charged with collapsing VBS Mutual Bank set to return to court today

They face 47 charges of theft, fraud, money laundering and racketeering but the State wanted the matter postponed last year so that more charges could be added.

Seven suspects arrested in connection with the multibillion rand VBS heist appeared in the Palm Ridge Regional Court on 18 June 2020. They are: (top row, from left to right) Tshifhiwa Matodzi,  Andile Ramavhunga, Phophi Mukhodobwane, (bottom row from left to right) Sipho Malaba, Avhashoni Ramikosi, Ernest Nesane and Paul Magula. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The seven suspects arrested and charged with the collapse of VBS Mutual Bank are expected back in the Palm Ridge Magistrates court on Tuesday.

They face 47 charges of theft, fraud, money laundering and racketeering but the State wanted the matter postponed last year so that more charges could be added.

Former VBS chief financial officer Phillip Truter has already been sentenced to an effective seven years in jail after pleading guilty to all charges against him.

The ninth suspect, Merafong local municipality CFO, Thys Wienekus, who allegedly invested R50 million of municipal funds with VBS Mutual Bank appeared in the Pretoria Special Commercial Crimes Court.

He is expected to turn State witness against a former official who allegedly coerced him to invest the funds but he is yet to reach an agreement with the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) on a sentence in exchange for his testimony.

He is expected back in court in March.

The other seven, who are also out on bail, will hear the way forward today.

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