PARLIAMENT – Lawyer Terry Motau warned on Wednesday that recovering lost money for fraud in the VBS Mutual Bank would be a long process with limited success.
"I am not optimistic that we recover a large amount. If you were a betting player, I would say we would have 20c to 30c in the range," said Motau to the Parliament's permanent commission on finance.
He added that what he called "VBS" by corrupt directors was not a crime without victims "because of the probability that they would take years to recover funds and that not all depositors were reinstated.
"There are at least 3 percent of the depositors that we can not repay completely."
He said his deposits totaled "an approximate figure of R90 million."
The SA Reserve Bank guaranteed the guarantees of the National Treasury up to R100 000 per depositor for VBS. But Motau said that this still left the vulnerable depositors as a grandmother who had deposited their savings of R150,000 with the failed bank and a commotion that had half a million rents in his account.
Motau wrote a 148-page forensic report that reported that about R2 million were illicitly paid to 53 people and entities by the non-bank bank and recommended that criminal charges be committed against those responsible.
The head of the National Court, Silas Ramaite, told MPs that five state prosecutors were working in the case and gave guidance to the Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigation or Hawks. He stressed that the Motau report served as a springboard for his investigations, but it was not a sufficient base to prosecute.
"The report by itself is not enough to lead us to an accusation. We do not want to trust it solely from the beginning knowing very well that there are already challenges," he told the committee.
"It's probably taken in review."
Motau, the Banco de Reserva SA and the National Treasury faced persistent questions from the deputies about when they made mistakes in the VBS.
Ismail Momoniat, head of the financial sector policy treasury, acknowledged that irregularities were highlighted in October 2017 and said authorities could act faster.
"Certainly I am worried, it could be faster," he said, but added that forcing municipalities to withdraw the money they had deposited with VBS against the law, would cause the bank's immediate collapse.
"It was easy to say to the municipalities, here's the law to take all the money and sink."
African news agency (ANA)