The great tragedy of the VBS Mutual Bank scandal is that a group of gluttonous people set out to willfully rob thousands of poor people of their money, which was then spent wastefully to exhibit an extravagant lifestyle. The poor who banked with VBS are panicked and bewildered by what happened, and sadly cannot be assured of the appropriate remedy — getting all their money back and seeing the perpetrators face the full might of the law. The only silver lining in the appalling saga is that the amount that was looted was not higher than the estimated R2bn. Had VBS’s directors succeeded in their plan to solicit R1bn from the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa), it would have meant further raiding of the state-owned company already besieged by state capture. There was also a scheme allegedly discussed with leaders of some evangelical churches to get their congregants to deposit money into VBS to increase its cash flow. Mercifully, the lid was blown on the looting before this came to pas...

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