In December 2017 the Vhembe District municipality mayor was pleading for a “Christmas” for her and the speaker of the municipality as they were the ones making sure the money deposited in the VBS Mutual Bank was kept by the bank for six months.
“Christmas” is often used in local lingo during the year-end holiday season to signal a request for a monetary gift.
The Reserve Bank placed VBS under curatorship in March after withdrawals by municipalities led to a cash crunch. The Bank then appointed a team of forensic investigators led by Werksmans Attorneys and advocate Terry Motau‚ to establish what exactly had precipitated the failure.
The forensic report describes a criminal enterprise led by executives of the bank who were supposed to be its custodians‚ starting with the chair of VBS‚ Tshifhiwa Matodzi‚ who was identified as the kingpin. It recommends that they face criminal charges.