Looting kills South African bank

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Investigation shows that scores of people
and companies in South Africa looted $130 million over three years,
causing the collapse of VBS Mutual bank.
Reports on the country’s latest corruption scandals, indicate that VBS Mutual collapsed in March.
Then President Jacob Zuma had also
obtained a 7.8 million rand loan for him to repay taxpayers for security
upgrades to his private Nkandla homestead in 2016.
The investigation, commissioned by the central bank, released its damning report titled “The Great Bank Heist”.
It detailed the graft that sank VBS and
named the executives allegedly responsible, including former CEO Andile
Ramavhunga, who denies any wrongdoing.
“Many of those implicated in the looting
of VBS are chartered accountants and some attorneys. They are not fit
and proper persons to fill those offices, which require utmost honesty
and integrity,” report author Terry Motau wrote.
The investigation was launched after VBS,
a corporate finance and retail bank, suffered a severe liquidity crisis
and was put under curatorship earlier this year.
The probe revealed malpractice including
extending overdrafts to well-connected clients and issuing payments to
individuals in exchange for deposits from state-owned companies.
“It is corrupt and rotten to the core.
Indeed, there is hardly a person in its employ in any position of
authority who is not, in some way or other, complicit,” the report said.
Motau recommended criminal charges against those in charge at the bank, which had 23,000 retail depositors.
Previously, local media reports had
revealed executives bought luxury cars and chartered helicopters with
the bank’s money, and arranged huge illegal deals by Whatsapp messages.
Zuma was ousted from power in February amid multiple graft scandals during his nine years in office.

 

A judicial inquiry is probing government
corruption under his term, while his successor Cyril Ramaphosa has vowed
to crack down on financial misconduct.