VhaVenda king offers to pay back VBS money

Following the release of the Reserve Bank-commissioned “The Great Bank Heist” report last week, VhaVenda King Toni Mphephu Ramabulana has offered to “repay any amount which will be shown to have been the proceeds of the illegalities in the report.”

Ramabulana noted in a statement released on Sunday — that the report authored by Terry Motau SC — made reference to him in “no more than five sentences”. Ramabulana insists the report did not find that he was “part of any criminal enterprise”.

Last Wednesday, the Reserve Bank released an explosive report detailing how more than R1.8-billion was looted from VBS over a period of three years.

READ MORE: Outrage greets VBS bank report

The report named 53 individuals and entities who had received gratuitous payments from the bank, amongst them former Limpopo ANC Youth League leader Kabelo Matsepe, Vele chairperson Maanda Manyatshe, VBS former chairperson Tshifhiwa Matodzi and Brian Shivambu — the brother of Economic Freedom Fighters deputy president Floyd Shivambu.

READ MORE: Shivambu blames ‘weapons of mass deception’ for alleged VBS links

“The report describes the payment as a gratuitous payment,” Ramabulana added, referring to an amount of R17-million that was paid to the king.

“In my capacity as the King of the VhaVenda people, I receive grants including financial support from various individuals and entities.”

He explained that the amounts he received were deemed as “legitimate, untainted”.

“Any such amounts as may be shown to have been payments flowing from the fraudulent and/or criminal sources involving the Venda Building Society (VBS), I would have received without knowledge of criminal wrongdoing which the report identifies.”

VBS Mutual Bank was placed under curatorship in March this year following a severe liquidity crisis. The bank’s financial losses led the curator to call for a forensic investigation.

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