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Cape Town - Former Vele Investments chief executive Maanda Manyatshe has claimed that the “Grand bank heist” report which detailed how R1.9 billion was looted from the VBS Mutual Bank was aimed at destabilising the financial institution.

The South African Reserve Bank released Advocate Terry Motau’s report which implicated 53 people and companies in fraud and corruption, including EFF deputy Floyd Shivambu’s brother, Brian Shivambu.

Brian Shivambu, however, has denied receiving R16 million in “gratuitous” payments from the loot, claiming he was paid by Vele Investments for consultancy work he provided. Vele Investments is one of the major shareholders in VBS.

The report claims that Manyatshe was paid R11.2m from the loot. He, however, rubbished the allegations, and slammed the report as an attempt to see VBS fail.

“I can categorically say that the R1.87bn stolen money mentioned in the heist report is false. It has been used by the advocate to whip up emotions of the public and the politicians so as to motivate for the closure of VBS, which was among the statements advocate Motau made at the end.

“In my simple mind, that ruling or recommendation must be made by the governor of the SA Reserve Bank, not a forensic auditor. That was not his mandate,” said Manyatshe.

He said he had abandoned the legal battle against Motau to focus on reviving the bank.

On October 17, Manyatshe’s lawyers wrote to Motau and demanded that he publicly apologise for misleading the public and retract statements that Manyatshe benefited from the heist, and the R1.9bn.

“My focus at the moment is to get VBS back on track; my personal circumstances are irrelevant. I have other things I am paying attention to. I don’t want to be distracted with court cases. I deny the allegations absolutely,” said Manyatshe.

He said information in Motau’s report was thrown around without proof or evidence.

“He refers to information regarding Vele fraudulently acquiring its 53% shares in the controversial VBS Mutual Bank. He says the information stated would have 'raised red flags with any accredited forensic auditor'.

“I have informed the curator, the PIC and SA Reserve Bank in April that there is no evidence that Vele Investments has paid for VBS shares nor is there evidence of Vele Investments putting up money to pay for the 14 companies in their website that included Insure Group and Mvunonala.

“The forensic report just regurgitates this without forensically showing how this was done six months later This is wasteful expenditure as I do not see the value produced,” explained Manyatshe.

Political Bureau