VBS boss vows to defend himself against graft claims
Vele Investment CEO Robert Madzonga, who is implicated in the VBS looting scandal, has vowed to defend his case despite damning allegations that he had a hand in bringing the mutual bank to its knees.
The looting of the bank, based in Limpopo, might result in about 14 municipalities, state-owned asset management firm Public Investment Corporation (PIC) and individual clients losing their money.
VBS Mutual Bank’s executives and directors may have stolen 75% of the bank’s assets, according to analysis done by Business Day. This was suggested by the Reserve Bank on Monday.
At a media briefing Bank governor Lesetja Kganyago announced steps that would be taken by clients to allow them to gain access to their funds, beginning on Friday.
The Treasury has also agreed to provide a guarantee to the Bank to facilitate the repayment of all retail deposits up to R100,000 per retail depositor, excluding municipal or corporate deposits.
The bank’s curator, Anoosh Rooplal, filed high court papers in a bid to have the assets of a group of executives accused of stealing from the bank sequestrated. Madzonga said he had issued a notice to oppose the state’s case against him.
"I’m not even worried at all. They don’t even say what I have done," Madzonga said.
He said his lawyers were compiling his responses to the allegations, which he intends to file next week ahead of the court appearance on July 24.
In the court papers Rooplal said that Madzonga had allegedly participated and benefited from fraud, while stating that Vele had apparently acquired shares fraudulently.
Rooplal referred to Madzonga, CEO Andile Ramavhunga, board chairman Tshifhiwa Matodzi and others as the "perpetrators" who caused the bank to lose over R1.5bn.
He said Vele received a R745,000 share of more than R900,000 in fraudulent deposits by the perpetrators.
"Having regard to the devious manner in which the fraud was perpetrated and how the perpetrators have sought to conceal the fraud, it cannot be put beyond them to further dissipate and conceal the proceeds of the fraud," he stated.
Some victims took to sleeping outside the bank’s headquarters in Sibasa and Thohoyandou in a bid to get their money back.