Heads roll over VBS in Limpopo

SANews.gov.za

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VBS mutual bank directors stole R1.5 billion. Photo: Die Vryburger
VBS mutual bank directors stole R1.5 billion. Photo: Die Vryburger

Officials from local municipalities in Limpopo have been shown the door for their involvement in the VBS Mutual Bank.

This after 10 of the province’s municipalities invested about R1.2 billion in the now insolvent VBS Bank.

“As a province, we decided that remedial actions be taken against officials who may have acted outside the bounds and powers of the laws, including the Municipal Finance Management Act and the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) forensic report,” said Limpopo Premier Stanley Mathabatha.

Hitler Maluleke, the Greater Giyani Local Municipality CFO, has been shown the door, with his contract terminated with immediate effect.

Vhembe District Municipality municipal manager Reuben Rambado and CFO Nyiko Muchave have been suspended.

In Fetakgomo Tubatse Local Municipality, a decision to suspend municipal manager Busani Patience and CFO Frank Maredi is set to take place at a special council sitting on Thursday.

The fate of Lepelle-Nkumpi Local Municipality manager Thabo Motogwane and CFO Rosina Ngobeni will also be decided at a special council sitting tomorrow.

Ephraim Mogale Local Municipality intends to suspend its municipal manager, Monica Matebele and CFO Khabo Ramosibi soon.

The Makhado Local Municipality CFO has left, while acting municipal manager Johannes Kanwendo has been suspended.

Mathabatha said investigations at Capricorn District Municipality are in the final stages.

The municipalities who had invested in VBS are Polokwane, Makhuduthamaga, Elias Motsoaledi, Makhado, Ephraim Mogale, Collins Chabane, Vhembe District, Greater-Giyani, Lepelle-Nkumpi and Fetakgomo Tubatse.

Of the 10 above-mentioned municipalities, investments for three municipalities, namely Polokwane, Makhuduthamaga and Elias Motsoaledi matured, and both investments and interest paid to the municipalities. Elias Motsoaledi is still owed a certain amount.

Assuring communities that basic services will continue unabated at local level, Mathabatha said recovery plans are underway.

“The provincial government is working hard to provide support to the affected municipalities to strengthen their internal controls, reporting and revenue raising measures, capacity building and service delivery.

The MECs for Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs (CoGHTSTA) and Limpopo Treasury are finalising a comprehensive Infrastructure Review to be presented in the coming EXCO meeting.

Municipalities may be placed under administration

In addition to providing support, Mathabatha said some municipalities may be placed under administration.

“I have also instructed the MEC for Coghsta, Jerry Ndou, to present in the next EXCO municipalities that should be put under administration because of their inability to provide necessary services,” said the Premier.

Mathabatha urged communities to raise their concerns through legal and constitutional means.

A forensic report initiated by the provincial government, through its Treasury Department, is set to be completed at the end of this month.

“This will give us necessary direction with regard to further steps on this Venda Building Society (VBS) saga,” said the Premier. – SAnews.gov.za

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