Madibeng in the spotlight when Hawks make more arrests

Following the arrests of eight people in connection with the VBS Mutual bank scandal in 2018, the Hawks have indicated that more arrests are imminent with municipal officials probably next.

These include mayors, municipal managers and chief financial officers of municipalities that were involved with the almost R2 billion bank heist. Madibeng was one of the 14 municipalities that invested funds with VBS and might be in the Hawks’ spotlight.

Madibeng invested R50 million with VBS and lost R30 million. It invested the money in contravention of the treasury’s Municipal Finance Management Act. Three municipal officials were suspended at the time.

The ANC made a decision to recall Madibeng mayor Mayor Jostina Mothibe in December 2018 and indicated that criminal charges will follow. However, this never happened and she is still at the helm of the municipality.

At the time she denied any knowledge of the investment. During a hearing with the Standing Committee on Public Accounts, Mothibe said when the R50 million was supposed to have been deposited back with the municipality after three months, only R20 million had come back, without interest.

The Hawks investigated the municipality’s involvement in the VBS looting. Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said last week that more arrests are coming, but he did not want to reveal who the targets are.

According to the Hawks, municipalities, companies and some influential people will be brought into the investigation and prosecution.

The almost R2 billion was stolen by the VBS bank’s directors, senior executives and politicians over a period of two years.

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