VBS Mutual Bank in Thohoyandou, Limpopo. Picture: ANTONIO MUCHAVE/SOWETAN
VBS Mutual Bank in Thohoyandou, Limpopo. Picture: ANTONIO MUCHAVE/SOWETAN

Municipalities, the South African Reserve Bank and the Public Investment Corporation are among the institutions that have successfully lodged claims against the ill-fated VBS Mutual Bank, its liquidator Anoosh Rooplal said on Sunday.

VBS bank is at the centre of a corruption scandal that saw an estimated R2.7bn looted from the institution, according to his latest estimate. The bank was placed under curatorship last March following a liquidity crisis. More than 50 individuals have been implicated in the scandal, and the Special Investigating Unit is probing why more than a dozen municipalities invested in the Limpopo-based bank in contravention of an instruction from Treasury.

More than 20,000 retail customers who had deposits of less than R100,000 have had their claims honoured by the South African Reserve Bank, but the rest of the bank’s creditors have to wait until the liquidator has traced and recovered what he can of its assets.

A meeting of VBS creditors took place on Friday before the Master of the High Court in Polokwane, following an earlier meeting in March.

“The majority of the municipality depositors who submitted claims and attended the meeting had their claims accepted. A total of 610 retail depositors, which included individuals, stokvels, attorney firms and church groups and who had more than R100,000 invested at VBS also had their claims accepted, as did 17 VBS employees. The South African Reserve Bank and the Public Investment Corporation claims were also accepted, amongst other corporate depositors,” Rooplal said in a statement.

The liquidator was making progress with civil claims to recover losses incurred by the bank, he said.

Final sequestrataion orders had been granted against several former bank executives —  Tshifhiwa Matodzi, Mr and Mrs  Ramavhunga, Phillipus Truter, Phopi Mukhodobwane and Robert Madzonga. “It is possible that criminal actions will be instituted by the relevant enforcement authorities against these former Bank executives, as well as other wrongdoers”, said Rooplal.

Vele Investments, chaired by Matodzi, was liquidated with an additional 14 companies. Liquidation applications for another four companies will be heard on  November 11 2019, he said.

Successful recoveries would ultimately yield dividends for the VBS estate, but given the complexities of the bank the process would take time, he said.  

kahnt@businesslive.co.za