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JOHANNESBURG - The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng said on Tuesday that it will lay fraud charges against West Rand District Municipality officials for depositing millions of rand at VBS Mutual Bank.

Fifteen municipalities deposited municipal money at the embattled Venda-based mutual bank, in contravention of the Municipal Financial Management Act. The West Rand district municipality has R81 million invested with VBS Mutual Bank while Merafong has R50 million. 

The South African Reserve Bank (Sarb) placed the small lender under curatorship in March because of liquidity issues. The curatorship means the municipalities cannot access the funds.

Earlier this month, provincial treasury said it would launch a forensic investigation into investments made by the West Rand district municipality and the Merafong local municipality in VBS Mutual Bank and whether any official should be charged with misconduct. 

READ: SARB fines VBS Mutual Bank and China Construction Bank R77.5m

The DA said that these municipalities now risk losing large proportions of these deposits and are likely to receive between 10 cents and 40 cents on the rand or nothing at all, adding that those who approved these deposits must be held to account.

African News Agency/ANA