Former Giyani municipality employee and businessman appeared at Polokwane commercial in connection with R153 million unlawful VBS investment

CRIME

By Staff Reporter

POLOKWANE-The former Municipal Manager, Risimati Hitler Maluleke (64), Acting Chief Financial officer, Nditshedzeni Mashau(41) and businessman, Zwivhuya Goodness Tshishonga (33), appeared briefly in Polokwane Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in connection with VBS corruption matter.

The accused are facing the following charges: contravening the Municipal Finance Management Act(MFMA), corruption and money laundering.

Two of the accused persons are out on bail of R25 000 and the third is out on bail of R20 000. They were arrested by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (HAWKS) on 05 March 2024, for their role in the approval of an unlawful investment to VBS Mutual Bank since VBS was not a bank as defined in the banks act.

It is alleged that the first investment of R100 million matured and yielded an interest amounting to over R4 million.

Later, over R48 million was also invested. The investment and the interest were then not paid back to the municipality.  The Greater Giyani Local Municipality suffered a loss of over R153 million as a result of the conduct of Maluleke and Mashau.

The Investigations revealed that the municipality had illegally invested an amount of over R153 million into VBS for 18 months. Furthermore, the Acting Chief Financial Officer (CFO) recommend that the money should be invested with VBS, instead of using authorised banks.

The accused authorised the opening of a Fixed Deposit account, in the name of Greater Giyani Local Municipality, the accused did not take reasonable steps to ensure that the resources of the municipality were used effectively, efficiently, and economically and acted in a grossly negligent way in contravention of MFMA.

It is alleged that Tshishonga received substantial amounts of money into his business account of Real Consulting,  in turn, Tshishonga will transfer a portion of the money to Maluleke thus disguising the nexus between VBS and Maluleke.  In total Maluleke received R62 000 from Tshishonga.

The matter was postponed to 02 July 2024 for the legal representative of Mashau.

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