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thomas davison
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Joined: 03 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 1:23 pm    Post subject: FIRST BLACK BANK IN S.A. COLLAPSES AFTER LOOTED BY OWNERS Reply with quote

South Africa: “First Black Bank” Collapses after Being Looted by Owners

VBS Mutual Bank—lauded as the first bank in South Africa to be totally owned and managed by Africans—has collapsed after its owners stole all the cash and bribed government and local government officials into depositing money in the operation, an official inquiry set up by the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) has found.

According to the official report issued by the SARB, titled “The Great Bank Heist: Investigator’s Report to the Prudential Society,” the African owners at the VBS Mutual Bank “made away with almost R2 billion” in what it described as “a single criminal enterprise.”

VBS Mutual Bank became a mutual bank in 1992, and was listed on the South African Stock Exchange in 2017. It ran into what media called “liquidity problems” early in 2018, and was placed under curatorship in March this year.

The SARB report found that R1,894,923,674 (US$ 130 million) was transferred from the Bank to fifty three individuals between 15 March 2015 and 17 June 2018. According to the report, R16,148,569 (US$1.09 million) went to Brian Shivambu, younger brother of the anti-white Economic Freedom Fighter senior politician Floyd Shivambu.

Other cash went to local government officials in at least 15 regions as payments for switching banking facilities to the African-owned bank. Among those implicated are the African National Congress’s deputy chairman for the northern Limpopo province, Florence Radzilani, and that organization’s regional treasurer, Danny Msiza.

A report in South Africa’s News24 service said that the report “has recommended that more than 50 individuals be criminally charged and held liable in civil proceedings, following the bank’s implosion earlier this year.

“This includes the bank’s former executives and their associates, shareholder executives, politicians and their relatives and auditors who signed off on the bank’s fraudulent financials.

“The criminal charges should stem from evidence of fraud, corruption and bribery perpetrated by the bank’s leadership and public officials with whom they were in cahoots.”

Between 2015 and early 2018, bank chairman Tshifhiwa Matodzi, together with his co-directors and ally Robert Madzonga, facilitated the looting, the report continued.

“Substantial bribes were paid to VBS’ directors and “other related parties in order to buy their silence and to look the other way while the looting was going on,” the report added.

Large deposits from dozens of municipalities, as “investments” with VBS, were the result of a concerted and deliberate campaign undertaken by VBS execs and involved, in many instances, the payment of bribes to various public officials who were “in a position to influence the making of such deposits.”

In addition, individuals at VBS manipulated its banking systems to create fictitious deposits in favor of its majority shareholder Vele Investments, its numerous associates and related parties as well as obliterating overdrawn banking facilities enjoyed by Vele and its associates totaling hundreds of millions of rand.

“The captors and their associates went on a massive spending spree at the expense of VBS’ depositors,” the report said.

In addition, the report found that the “engagement partner of [major international auditing firm] KPMG, VBS’ auditor Sipho Malaba, had committed fraud in signing off on the banks 2017 financial statements and on its regulatory reports to SARB.”

“By fraudulent means, the looting of VBS was hidden from view and was allowed to continue and indeed, escalate… These frauds misled the Registrar [of Banks] into believing that VBS was financially sound position whereas in truth its liabilities exceeded its assets by about R180-million and it was thus, hopelessly insolvent as at 31 March 2017.”

The SARB report also recommended that VBS be liquidated, as there is no prospect of saving it.

“It is corrupt and rotten to the core. Indeed, there is hardly a person in its employ in any position of authority who is not, in some way or the other, complicit” in the “widescale looting and pillaging of the monies placed on deposit at VBS.”

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