Poor will suffer most in VBS saga: Municipal IQ

The poor will be most affected by the VBS Mutual Bank scandal.

That is what Municipal IQ – which specialises in local government data – concluded after a forensic report titled “The Great Bank Heist” was published on Wednesday.

The forensic report‚ compiled by advocate Terry Motau and Werksmans Attorneys‚ goes into detail about how the bank heist allegedly occurred and listed a number of former executives of VBS and its largest shareholder‚ Vele Investments‚ who were the alleged perpetrators and beneficiaries of the crime.

Municipal IQ economist Karen Heese said some municipalities would face financial problems because they had more than 60% of their operating budgets tied up in VBS Mutual Bank. These include the Collins Chabane‚ Dr Ruth S. Mompati‚ Greater Giyani and Lepelle-Mkumpi municipalities.

“None of these municipalities are in wealthy localities and many residents depend on them for indigent support. Ultimately‚ it is the poorest of the poor who will pick up the tab for the shameless corruption in these municipalities‚” said Heese.

The report also recommends that individuals that assisted in inducing municipalities to deposit money with VBS – “whether the maker of the bribes or as the recipient of the bribes” – be criminally prosecuted.

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