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Johannesburg - Parliament's standing committee on finance on Wednesday called on law-enforcement agencies, the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), to act swiftly and decisively against those alleged to have defrauded the VBS Mutual Bank.

A forensic report titled "The Great Bank Heist" by Advocate Terry Motau commissioned by the South African Reserve Bank's (SARB's) Prudential Authority revealed last week how almost R2 billion was siphoned from VBS Mutual Bank by at least 53 top ranking individuals and entities. 

Yunus Carrim, chairperson of the committee, welcomed the report and expressed its outrage at the plunder of the bank. 

"Without interfering with the internal investigations of the Hawks and NPA and consistent with our oversight role, we will call on the Hawks and NPA to report on progress in this regard," Carrim said.

Carrim said the committee would immediately consider the VBS Report on 7 November as it was caught up with the Budget Recommendation Report and Tax Bills this week as well as the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement in the coming two weeks 

He said the meeting would include the SARB, Motau, the National Treasury, the Financial Sector Conduct Authority, the Hawks, the NPA, the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA) and the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (Saica).

"Once again KPMG is accused of wrongdoing and we urge the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors to complete its investigation into their conduct expeditiously. We also urge the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants to not be lame and act decisively," Carrim said.

Carrim said the collapse of VBS was a major setback for diversity and transformation in the financial sector and expressed a concern that innocent employees at VBS Mutual had lost their jobs and requested other banks to prioritise them in filling in vacancies they have. 

* Read more on the #VBSBankHeist here.

African News Agency/ANA