Reeling from advocate Terry Motau's explosive report on the VBS bank heist, the former auditor in me couldn't help but wonder how such brazen looting could happen in the first place. I concluded that it could only have been collusion. Deliberate, sophisticated, well-oiled and well-executed collusion. By definition, collusion requires some form of secret co-operation or conspiracy designed to deceive. It is the ultimate terminator of internal controls. Allegedly, by paying off all the people who should have raised red flags, the chair of VBS was able to ensure loyally collusive accomplices across all its governance structures. My favourite instance was when the chair allegedly handed over the "Eagle Canyon spreadsheet" to his head of treasury and the CFO with an instruction to wipe out the overdraft balances of 34 accounts, amounting to R249m. According to Motau's report, both executives received in excess of R30m for their efforts in this regard. However, while the "eating" by VBS e...

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