PRETORIA –Three suspects, former Municipal Manager (60) in West Rand District Municipality, former Chief Financial Officer (37) in West Rand District Municipality and now acting Municipal Manager in Merafong Local Municipality, and former manager: Income and Expenditure (34) in the West Rand District Municipality were arrested this morning by the Hawks’ Serious Corruption Investigation at several locations within Gauteng. The arrest is based on the ongoing investigation of maladministration and corruption in the looting of the VBS Mutual Bank. The trio will be appearing tomorrow, 29 June 2021 in the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crimes court.
The allegations in this morning arrests relate to investments into VBS Mutual Bank (VBS) made by municipalities. The investments made by the municipalities into VBS are reported to have been done in contravention of the provisions of the Municipal Finance Management Act by investing municipal funds with a mutual bank.
During the arrests, a search and seizure operation was also conducted in order to confiscate IT equipment which could contain pertinent documentation and/or articles relating to the investigation.
The National Head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, Lt Gen Godfrey Lebeya has previously indicated that following the arrests and securing of court attendance of the main players in the VBS investigation, arrests within municipalities will follow.
A total number of twenty (20) municipalities deposited an amount of R3,7 billion [amount repaid totals R2,2 billion whilst the amount lost/unpaid amounts to R1,5 billion]. Some of the lost funds amounting to R67 million were allegedly paid as brokerage commissions to entities and/or individuals to attract more deposits mainly from municipalities. This nationwide investigation has revealed that VBS employees, municipal executives and other officials received gratifications for the investments made.