Venda king Toni Mphephu Ramabulana says he will pay back money acquired through “sources which are tainted” relating the VBS Mutual Bank saga.
The VBS saga, now dubbed “The Great Bank Heist” thanks to a report penned by advocate Terry Motau, has rocked the South African political sphere to its core. Not because local politicians have managed to shy away from controversy involving corruption in the past, but because representatives who have vehemently opposed nepotism and exploitation are now caught up in a wild whirlwind of contradiction.
Venda king Ramabulana will make amends on one condition
The now infamous report, which has implicated over 50 individuals and companies in what has been called the biggest bank heist of all time, has unearthed some deeply buried political skeletons. It’s alleged that these calculated raiders managed to loot close to R2 billion without even having to fire a single shot.
The leader of the VhaVenda people, Ramabulana, is said to have received almost R18 million in the dodgy deal. It’s also alleged that Ramabulana was ‘gifted’ a R7.8 million Dainfern house‚ a Range Rover‚ a BMW 7 Series and two Mercedes Benz Vianos by VBS chairman‚ Tshifhiwa Matodzi‚ and Vele Investments chief executive Robert Madzonga.
Ramabulana says that he was ‘hoodwinked’ by the bank’s officials and their luxurious hand-outs. Madzonga later issued an apology, saying:
“Vele Investments wishes to formally apologise to the king and his royal family and the entire VhaVenda nation for what they are going through as a result of the negative publicity.”
“The king is feeling pain with his subjects” – spokesperson
In a sadly ironic state of affairs, the wholesale corruption of VBS Mutual Bank led to its complete collapse; most of the Limpopo bank’s customers, who were loyal to the Venda king, were plunged into despair after their life savings ‘dissapeared’.
This dereliction of trust has, according to the king’s latest statement, caused the monarch great pain. It’s for this reason that Ramabulana has committed himself to pay back every last cent – if it can be proven that he acquired the funds illegally.
In a letter addressed to the VhaVenda people, and reported on by Sowetan Live, Ramabulana says:
“I irrevocably offer to repay any amount which will be shown to have been the proceeds of the illegalities in the report as soon as they are computed and I’m directed where the repayment must be made and the terms of such payment.”
The king’s spokesperson Mathivha Makonde has argued that the Ramabulana was not aware of the funds’ dubious origins. Makonde has stated that the king would never purposefully defraud his own people.