Hawks arrest three senior municipal managers over VBS Bank billions
Three former municipal executives in Gauteng are expected to appear in court on Tuesday following their arrests in relation with the VBS Mutual Bank (VBS) scandal.
Hawks spokesperson Col Katlego Mogale said the trio, who were arrested on Monday morning in different locations in Gauteng, were: a 60-year-old former municipal manager in West Rand district municipality; a 37-year-old former chief financial officer from the same municipality; and a 34-year-old acting municipal manager from Merafong local municipality, formerly a manager in West Rand district municipality.
They were arrested by the Hawks’ serious corruption investigation unit at various locations in the province. The arrests by the Hawks unit was based on the ongoing investigation of maladministration and corruption in the looting of VBS Mutual Bank.
The trio will be appearing in the Pretoria specialised commercial crimes court.
Their charges relate to investments into VBS Mutual Bank made by municipalities, which was done in contravention of the provisions of the Municipal Finance Management Act by investing municipal funds with a mutual bank, the Hawks said.
Mogale said during the arrests, a search and seizure operation was also conducted in order to confiscate IT equipment which could contain pertinent documentation or articles relating to the investigation.
The national head of the directorate for priority crime investigation, Lt Gen Godfrey Lebeya, has previously indicated that arrests and securing of court attendance of the main players in the VBS investigation will follow.
A total of 20 municipalities deposited an amount of R3.7bn of which R2.2bn has been repaid.
Some of the lost funds - amounting to R67m - were allegedly paid as brokerage commissions to entities and individuals to attract more deposits mainly from municipalities.
The nationwide investigation has revealed that VBS employees, municipal executives and other officials received gratifications for the investments made, the Hawks said.