Ex-COO tried to save VBS from liquidation using his own money, court told

By Brenda Masilela Time of article published Aug 1, 2018

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JOHANNESBURG - Former VBS Mutual Bank chief operations officer tried to solve the liquidation problem at the bank by using cover up methods and fraud, the High Court in Johannesburg heard on Wednesday.

Senior council, Michael Antonie, for the curator in the VBS Mutual Bank matter, said Robert Madzonga paid R18 million into the bank's account on February 16 and 17.

The payments were made in the month before VBS was placed under curatorship.

Antonie made his arguments during an application to try and have the estate of Madzonga provisionally sequestrated.

He questioned why Madzonga was solving a bank liquidity crisis in his personal capacity while Vele Investment holding was the major shareholder and could have dealt with it.

Madzonga is also the group executive officer of Vele Investments.

Antonie said Madzonga was desperate and wanted to ensure that the crisis at the bank remained uncovered and he used his own money.

"It's impossible that Madzonga did not know the state of VBS Mutual Bank...We are dealing on a fraud on a massive scale. Let's not get too technical," said Antonie.

Antonie said there was about R63m in a Vele bank account and questioned why Madzonga had not used that money to deal with the liquidation problem.

"Because it's a fictitious deposit," he said.

On Tuesday, provisional sequestration orders were granted against Tshifiwa Matodzi, the former chair of VBS’s board of directors and also the director and chairman of Vele Investments, as well as Phillip Truter, the bank's chief financial officer; and Phophi Mukhodobwane, VBS’s general head of treasury and capital management.

It emerged in court on Wednesday, that Mukhodobwane wanted to appeal the provisional sequestration.

Andile Ramavhunga, VBS’s chief executive officer, may also be placed under provisional sequestration -- this was argued in court on Tuesday and a judgment is yet to be delivered.

Curator Anoosh Rooplal wants Ramavhunga to be also sequestrated for orchestrating what is described as a "fraudulent scheme of epic proportions".

At least R1.5bn was allegedly looted from VBS by executives who lived lavishly and bought, among other items, luxury vehicles.

The court heard that Madzonga’s assets included two Porsches, a Rolls Royce, an Audi R8 and two immovable properties.

The sequestration proceedings continue.

African News Agency (ANA)

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