Scandal of the year: VBS — a most unsophisticated bank heist
VBS Mutual Bank collapsed this year after being fleeced by the very people entrusted with looking after depositors’ money
There has always been corruption in SA. But in 2018 it reached an Olympic standard as an industrial-scale looting exercise resulted in a whole bank being stolen in four years. VBS Mutual Bank, based in Thohoyandou, Limpopo, collapsed this year after being fleeced by the very people entrusted with looking after depositors’ money. Almost R2bn was stolen by the bank’s directors, senior executives and well-connected politicians. VBS has taken SA’s corporate corruption gig to a new level. Most alarmingly, the auditors employed by KPMG are believed to have participated in the feeding frenzy, helping the thieves cover up the crime. It’s not as if the embattled auditing firm needed any more negative publicity, so the revelations by the Reserve Bank investigators that KPMG’s senior partner on the audit, Sipho Malaba, received more than R34m in gratuitous payments from VBS, were a body blow. Those payments were not disclosed to KPMG. When confronted, Malaba resigned, together with another VBS...
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