Venda king offers to repay VBS loot if proven it was ill-gotten

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JOHANNESBURG, October 15 – VhaVenda King Toni Mphephu Ramabulana on Monday issued a statement offering to pay back any money shown to have been illegal proceeds from the VBS Mutual Bank scandal, saying that the financial ruin of his people was inimical to the founding members of the Venda Building Society.

A forensic report “The Great Bank Heist” by investigators appointed by the South African Reserve Bank into the failure of VBS Mutual Bank has detailed in crime thriller fashion how the bank was captured by corrupt directors and accomplices with political connections.

According to the report written by Advocate Terry Motau, the bank was looted of R1.95 billion by at least 53 individuals and entities and Mphephu was given R17 million.

Motau recommended that those involved be criminally charged.

“In my capacity as a King of Vhavenda people, I receive various grants including financial support from various individuals and entities. Any such amounts as may be shown to have been payments flowing from fraudulent and/or criminal sources involving Venda Building Society (VBS), I would have received without knowledge of the criminal wrongdoing which the report details,” Ramabulana said.

“I irrevocably offer to repay any amount which will be shown to have been proceeds of illegalities in the report as soon as they are computed and am directed where the payment must be made and the terms of such payment. The financial ruin, the cold theft to the vulnerable of our people is inimical to the vision my father has as a founding member of this Building Society.”

Ramabulana was caught in the crossfire and accused of using the bank’s money to pay for luxury items such as cars, a helicopter and a house in Dainfern Golf Estate.

Following the VBS fallout, Ramabulana threatened to open a case of fraud and corruption against Vele Investments’ Robert Madzonga and the former VBS chairman, Tshifhiwa Matodzi, saying that they had hoodwinked him into believing that the luxuries were gifts and that they had left him with R11 million debt.

– African News Agency (ANA)