- The suspects accused of looting funds from VBS Mutual Bank have finally appeared in court
- Seven out of the eight suspects appeared in the Palm Ridge Magistrates' Court on Thursday
- With bail set at R100 000, some claim that they are broke and unable to afford the proposed amount
Nearly two years ago it emerged that over R2.7 billion was looted from VBS Mutual Bank.
Briefly.co.za reported that multiple arrests have been made and even former director and board chair Thsifiwa Matodzi has been taken into custody.
Appearing in court in the Palm Ridge Magistrates' Court on Thursday, seven of the eight suspects learnt that bail had been set at R100 000 each.
The Citizen reports that Phillipus Truter, one of the suspects, had not appeared in court due to being in Covid-19 quarantine.
Matodzi's legal team argued that he is not a flight risk, claiming that placing their client in prison would put him at risk of contracting Covid-19.
Ex-CEO Andile Ramavhuga opposed bail, arguing that he only earns R30 000 on a monthly bases and that he couldn't afford the steep amount. He also insisted that he had no hand in the fraud.
Phopi Mukhondobwane insisting that setting bail at over R20 000 was a pre-emptive attempt to deny him bail, claiming that he too is broke.
Sipho Malaba (listed as Nhlanhla Malaba), a former KPMG auditor, also claimed to be unable to afford the current bail amount.
Suspended SAPS chief financial officer Phalaphala Avhashoni Ramikosi indicated that he intends to plead not guilty.
Ernest Nesane, a former Public Investment Corporation representative at the bank, claimed that he couldn't afford anything over R15 000, claiming to be unemployed.
Another PIC representative Paul Magula pleaded not guilty, adamant that he would be able to clear his name during the trial, also insisting that he couldn't afford bail.
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