#VBSMutualBank heist blame game erupts
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Johannesburg - The fallout over the VBS Mutual Bank saga has deepened, with some of those implicated passing the blame.
On Monday, Vele Investment chief executive Robert Madzonga accused former VBS chairperson Tshifhiwa Matodzi of deception and betrayal over the alleged looting spree of close to R2billion.
Madzonga’s remarks came as Vhavenda King Toni Peter Mphephu-Ramabulana said he was willing to pay back the money he received from VBS if it was proved to be proceeds of illegal activities.
Matodzi was a founder and chairperson of Vele Investments and was identified as the kingpin and the biggest beneficiary of the alleged fraud and corruption after he secured R325million, while Madzonga received only R30m.
This was according to the report by the SA Reserve Bank’s Prudential Authority compiled by advocate Terry Motau, which revealed that they were among 53 people who received gratuitous payments from 2015 to this year, which Motau has recommended be recouped.
On Monday, Madzonga denied any benefit from the looting of the bank and insisted that every cent he received from both Vele Investments and VBS was related to income for his work.
But he accused Matodzi and VBS executives of betrayal, lies and dishonesty.
“I feel betrayed by him. They betrayed us. More than three times before and immediately after March when we were put into liquidation, I asked him. When he opposed the liquidation, I cancelled it in court and told him that, as the chief executive, I am not going to be made to stop this thing because I have already been alerted by the Reserve Bank of looting,” he said.
According to Motau, Madzonga derived very large rewards relating to the looting, much of which was in the form of undeclared income.
In the report, Motau said that while Madzonga was employed by VBS for about a month in May or June as its acting chief operating officer, in 2016 his account at VBS still showed receipt of a monthly salary in September and October from the bank.
During the same period, he was also being paid R300 000 monthly by Vele Investments as its chief operating officer from July that same year.
Madzonga was not able to explain the discrepancy, only maintaining that it was money that was due to him as an employee.
"There is nothing which has come to me as a looting or something unexplained or whatever. I said to Motau and his team that they must point to me one thing that did not come as a salary or board fees, or that R4.5m which was the signing fee bonus when I was promoted to become the chief executive of Vele,” Madzonga said.
His implication in the scandal also included a questionable R15m payment from a Vele Financial Services account to VBS which he had told Motau was a loan repayment from a friend that was aimed at rescuing the bank’s deteriorating cash flow.
While Motau rejected the explanation, Madzonga maintained on Monday that the R15m was not linked to the looting scandal. He admitted that he still had four cars and a house bond which were serviced by VBS.
Matodzi could not be reached for comment. Ramabulana on Monday issued a statement offering to pay back any money shown to be illegal. “In my capacity as a king of the Vhavenda people I receive various grants, including financial support from various individuals and entities. Any such amounts as may be shown to have been payments flowing from fraudulent and/or criminal sources involving VBS I would have received without knowledge of the criminal wrongdoing which the report details,” Ramabulana said.
“I irrevocably offer to repay any amount which will be shown to have been proceeds of illegalities in the report as soon as they are computed and I am directed where the payment must be made and the terms of such payment.
“The financial ruin, the cold theft from the vulnerable of our people, is inimical to the vision my father has as a founding member of this building society.” He has threatened to open a case of fraud and corruption against Madzonga and Matodzi.
* Read more on the #VBSBankHeist