The DA is pushing for the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) to institute a commission of inquiry into the VBS Mutual Bank and municipalities which invested in the institution despite the law prohibiting them to do so.

The DA’s Kevin Mileham on Sunday made a written request to SARB’s registrar Kuben Naidoo following allegations of misconduct, illegal activities and financial maladministration at the bank, which shot into the news when it loaned R7.8million to former president Jacob Zuma.

“I would appreciate it if you would include the investigation of any possible or improper activities by any official, shareholder, director or related party of VBS Mutual Bank,” Mileham wrote in his letter.

He said the state of affairs at VBS necessitated an urgent and thorough investigation to ascertain the extent of problems at the institution given the potential loss of billions of rand of municipal deposits.

“The DA urges the registrar of banks to establish a similar commission to that set up when the African Bank was placed under curatorship to expose any further issues not yet publicly known.”

The request for a commission comes almost a month after the Limpopo provincial treasury issued a circular to municipal managers, chief financial officers and chief executives of municipal entities, dated March 13, where head of department Gavin Pratt asked individual municipalities to confirm investments and deposits.

The Mercury has also seen a list of 15 municipalities that had R1.5 billion investments with the VBS Mutual Bank as at February.

The list was submitted to Parliament by the national Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Department about two weeks ago.

The municipalities are from Limpopo (8), North West (4), Mpumalanga (1) and Gauteng (2).

The DA’s request comes against the backdrop of SARB ordering an investigation into R900 million that was unaccounted for at the VBS bank.

This was after auditors SizweNtsalubaGobodo conducted assessment at the bank now placed under curatorship. 

African News Agency (ANA)