Arrests in Hawks’ FDC #VBSMutualBank investigation imminent

The offices of the Free State Development Corporation (FDC) in Bloemfontein. PHOTO: PIERCE VAN HEERDEN
The Hawks’ investigation into the Free State Development Corporation’s (FDC) dealings with the now-defunct VBS Mutual Bank is at an advanced stage and arrests are imminent.

The directorate’s national investigating unit conducted a search and seizure raid at the FDC’s Bloemfontein office on Friday (July 5). Hawks National spokesperson, Hangwani Mulaudzi, tells OFM News the directorate obtained documents and computer files pertinent to their investigation on the deal.

The FDC came under the spotlight in 2018 following the release of Jerry Motau’s ‘Great Bank Heist’ report on the liquidated VBS. Motau alleged the FDC, along with 52 other entities and individuals, received “gratuitous payments” from the bank. The FDC vehemently denied that the more than R104 million was “gratuitous”, stressing that it was an investment instead. The chairperson of the entity’s board, Hantsi Matseke, said at the time that the entity had loaned the bank R100 million in June 2017. The bank repaid its loan in four tranches, the last of which was R54 million.

Having had insisted there was ample evidence of the transaction in their financials, it was reported there was in actual fact very little trace of the exchange apart from an entry which indicated the entity was seeking about R9,5 million from the Bank, which was not accessible due to the Limpopo-based bank being placed under curatorship.

FDC Chairperson Hantsi Matseke’s alleged affiliations to former Free State Premier and current ANC Secretary-General, Ace Magashule, have in recent years been highly scrutinised, notably the FDC’s engagements with Magashule’s daughter, Thoko Malembe.

It is not yet known if the Hawks’ are investigating those dealings.