VBS Bank arrests: North West education official among three suspects nabbed

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The Department of Basic Education (DBE) has confirmed that one of the suspects arrested on Tuesday by the Hawks in connection with the collapse of VBS Mutual Bank works for the department.

The Hawks on Tuesday morning arrested three suspects at their residences around Tshwane following their investigations into the VBS matter.

The suspects were a 57-year-old former municipal manager and a 39-year-old former chief financial officer (CFO) from Fetakgomo Tubatse Local Municipality in Limpopo, as well as a 41-year-old owner of a private business.

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The DBE’s spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga said minister Angie Motshekga had noted the arrest of the former municipal manager, who now works as an administrator for the department in the North West.

Mhlanga said the minister was looking into the matter and is considering appointing somebody else to occupy the position of administrator in the interim.

“The Department of Education, together with other departments in the North West, were placed under administration in terms of Section 100 (1 b) in 2019 following irregularities related, among others, to supply chain, finance, human resources and audit findings of the auditor-general.

“The administrator was appointed to assist the department with a turnaround plan,” the DBE said in a statement.

Mhlanga said at the time of appointment, there were no charges levelled against the official and his assumption of duty as administrator was approved at the appropriate platforms.

“In view of the latest developments, minister Motshekga will move swiftly to appoint another person to take up the role of administrator.”

Earlier on Tuesday, the Hawks said the trio allegedly contravened the Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA) by investing municipal funds belonging to the Fetakgomo Tubatse Local Municipality with VBS Mutual Bank.

“The investigation revealed that Fetakgomo-Greater Tubatse Local Municipality invested an amount of R230 million which was paid in five trenches [sic] from 15 November 2016 to 19 February 2018.

“The whole amount invested was never paid back to the municipality,” Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Nomthandazo Mbambo said in a statement.

The three suspects are due to appear at the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crimes Court on Wednesday on charges of corruption, money laundering and contravention of section 173 of the MFMA.

Source: citizen