A second meeting of VBS creditors took place before the Master at the High Court Polokwane on Friday 8 November 2019. Photo: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG – A second meeting of VBS creditors took place before the Master at the High Court Polokwane on Friday 8 November 2019.

The meeting provided creditors an opportunity to present their claims against VBS in order for the claims to be scrutinized and accepted by the Master. Resolutions giving the liquidator directions regarding the further winding-up of the estate were also submitted to a vote by the creditors. 

Anoosh Rooplal, liquidator of VBS was pleased to see the bulk of creditors present their claims before the presiding office on Friday. 

“The majority of the municipality depositors who submitted claims and attended the meeting had their claims accepted. A total of 610 retail depositors, which included individuals, stokvels, attorney firms and church groups and who had more than R100 000 invested at VBS also had their claims accepted, as did 17 VBS employees. The South African Reserve Bank and the Public Investment Corporation claims were also accepted, amongst other corporate depositors. The resolutions were explained to the creditors and all of them were unanimously adopted by the creditors”.

“This is a positive step for the liquidation as it means that the proven creditors and the liquidator are aligned in terms of how the VBS estate is being wound up”.

Over the past months, the liquidator has succeeded in his civil claims to recover losses suffered by the bank.

Final sequestration orders were granted on five former bank executives, including Mr. Tshifhiwa Matodzi, Mr. and Mrs.  Ramavhunga, Mr. Phillipus Truter, Mr. Phopi Mukhodobwane and Mr. Robert Madzonga. “It is possible that criminal actions will be instituted by the relevant enforcement authorities against these former Bank executives as well as other wrongdoers”, noted Rooplal in his report to creditors. Vele Investments, chaired by Mr. Robert Matodzi was liquidated together with an additional 14 companies. Liquidation applications for an additional four companies will be heard on 11 November 2019.

The respective trustees and liquidators appointed to the above sequestrated estates and liquidated companies will follow a similar process of recovery. Successful recoveries in those estates will ultimately result in dividends being paid to the VBS estate. 

Rooplal emphasized that “the processes must run its course and due process must be followed. This will take time but I have taken the correct actions for the benefit of VBS creditors, bearing in mind that it is a mutual bank with many complexities”.

Due to the pervasive nature and extent of the fraud that was perpetrated against the Bank, the accounting records do not fairly present the financial position of the Bank. Rooplal noted in his report to creditors that certain financial information will therefore need to be restated in order to recover the correct amounts which are owed to the Bank.

Engagement with various potential purchasers have been undertaken in order to sell the advances book and other assets of the Bank. Various parties have made unsolicited offers to acquire the Bank but nothing concrete has presented itself. All unsolicited offers are required to demonstrate financial capability and compliance with basic checks and FICA requirements before any further discussion can take place.

The liquidator continues to pursue civil litigation against certain directors, management and their related entities that were beneficiaries of the fraudulent scheme. The liquidator continues with collections efforts of all debt owing to the Bank.  In instances where the liquidator believes that there are reasonable prospects of success and which are likely to result in recoveries for the benefit of the creditors, legal proceedings have been instituted.

The liquidator continues to co- operate with the relevant enforcement authorities who are investigating the criminal aspects. 

The liquidation and distribution account will be distributed to the Master of the High Court when practically possible but it is envisaged that this will take some time due to the sale of assets that must first occur.

Rooplal concluded, “I went beyond my ordinary obligations to inform creditors of Friday’s meeting and made arrangements to assist retail creditors and employees with their claim forms. I am very pleased with the outcome of Friday’s meeting.  According to the Insolvency Act, I am now compelled to check all of the accepted claims against the records of the bank. If there are discrepancies, those claim amounts may be adjusted or certain claims may even be expunged if they are found to be invalid”.

Those creditors who have not proven claims for whatever reason or whose claims were rejected by the Master of the High Court during the second meeting are requested to make contact with the liquidators team in order that their claims can potentially be included in the liquidation process.  Please email any queries to [email protected]

BUSINESS REPORT