VBS Bank honcho gloated over Treasury official's visit to his home

28 October 2018 - 00:06 By RANJENI MUNUSAMY
National Treasury director-general Dondo Mogajane says he visited Vele Investments CEO Tshifhiwa Matodzi's house in an attempt to help VBS meet compliance requirements.
National Treasury director-general Dondo Mogajane says he visited Vele Investments CEO Tshifhiwa Matodzi's house in an attempt to help VBS meet compliance requirements.
Image: Zandile Shange

National Treasury director-general Dondo Mogajane was summoned to the home of the main looter in the VBS Mutual Bank scandal to discuss matters related to the bank at a time when it faced a severe liquidity crisis and was desperate to secure deposits from municipalities and other state institutions.

WhatsApp messages between VBS majority shareholder Vele Investments CEO Tshifhiwa Matodzi and the former treasury head at VBS bank, Phophi Mukhodobwane, detail how Matodzi, in a show of influence, summoned Mogajane to his Joburg home in October last year to discuss issues related to the bank.

The meeting was after the National Treasury, in circulars, cautioned municipalities against investing in mutual banks, as this was in contravention of the Municipal Finance Management Act.

In a WhatsApp conversation on October 11 2017, Matodzi tells Mukhodobwane that Mogajane "came to my house on Sunday" in the exclusive Eagle Canyon golf estate. Matodzi responds: "POWER."

Mogajane confirmed he met Matodzi several times after repeated requests from VBS, in an attempt to help the bank meet compliance requirements.

He said he agreed to a meeting on Saturday October 7 as he was leaving for New York the next day and would not be able to meet Matodzi the following week.

The meeting was scheduled for the offices of VBS associates in Woodmead but Matodzi did not arrive. Associates asked Mogajane to go to Matodzi's home, which he did.

He said Matodzi requested that the Treasury circulars be withdrawn, arguing that as a black bank, VBS should be supported.

Mogajane said he told Matodzi that he was "sympathetic to the plight of the bank" and arranged for legal representatives of VBS and the Treasury to discuss the matter.

Mogajane held six other meetings with VBS representatives, "but instead of winding down the transactions, they were increasing deposits", Mogajane said.

At the seventh meeting, at the Reserve Bank in March this year, VBS was told it would be placed under curatorship.


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