Former finance minister, Trevor Manuel, said that those people who have been implicated and are perpetrators in the VBS Mutual Bank scandal must be sent to jail. File picture: Phill Magakoe/ANA
CAPE TOWN - Former finance minister, Trevor Manuel, said that the people who have been implicated and are perpetrators in the VBS Mutual Bank scandal must be sent to jail. 

Manuel said this at a talk on digital finance at the University of Johannesburg.

"R2 billion was stolen from very poor people. The people who stole it must go to jail. It's theft from the poor and theft must be punished with jail. I will not back off from that view," he said .

More than 50 people have been implicated in the VBS scandal after the Reserve Bank published its report titled "The Great Bank Heist".

In the report, which was commissioned by the SA Reserve Bank, it was found that 53 people received various illegal payments from VBS over a number of years. The payments amounted to R 1.89 billion. 

During his speech, Manuel also spoke on economic inequality in South Africa. The former minister said that financial literacy was a challenge. 

He did take a moment to praise media outlets that are educating the public on debt and personal finance. 

"Financial literacy is very difficult," he said. 

Manuel is now one of President Cyril Ramaphosa's four investment envoys, and is tasked with selling SA to international investors, Fin24 reported.

SA IS RIPE FOR INVESTMENT

In his speech, Manuel made sure to ensure South Africans were aware that SA is ripe with opportunity. 

Manuel said SA was "ripe for innovation" but said that businesses needed to cater to more diverse markets.

Tense debate expected in Parliament today as MPs discuss #VBSHeist

It is expected to be a tense day in Parliament on as MPs are expected to discuss the VBS scandal today. 

Pressure has been mounting for authorities to investigate the matter and arrest all those who have been implicated. 

The ANC in Limpopo has been placed at the centre of the scandal as two of its officials, Vhembe Mayor Florence Radzilani and ANC provincial treasurer Dan Msiza, have been implicated in the report. 

The EFF has also been tainted by the scandal which saw its deputy president Floyd Shivambu being roped in through questions surrounding payments made to his younger brother Brian Shivambu.

Brian Shivambu, Floyd's younger brother, is alleged to have received R16 million from VBS. 

The Daily Maverick reported that the EFF had received R1.3 million of the funds while Floyd Shivambu received R10 million of those funds.  

The brothers and the EFF have both denied receiving illegal payments from VBS. 
 
MPs are expected to have tough words for authorities with the DA promising to demand accountability for depositors that lost their monies. 

The DA is also leading a march to the Limpopo premier's office to submit a memorandum demanding that Premier Stan Mathabatha take action against individuals that have been implicated in the report.

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