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By Vhahangwele Nemakonde

Digital Deputy News Editor

Court sentences former VBS boss Tshifhiwa Matodzi to 495 years

He will only serve 15 years in jail as the sentences for the other 32 charges will run concurrently with the first.

The Gauteng High Court in Pretoria has sentenced former Venda Building Society (VBS) Mutual Bank chairperson Tshifhiwa Matodzi to 495 years for his crimes.

Matodzi appeared in court on Wednesday after entering into a plea agreement with the state.

As part of the agreement, he pleaded guilty to all 33 charges.

“Upon realisation that the investigation team within Serious Corruption Investigation had done due diligence, pleaded guilty and entered into a plea agreement with the state,” said the Hawks on Wednesday.

Sentences will run concurrently

The court sentenced him to 15 years for each count, and the combined sentence amounted to 495 years. However, the court ordered that the sentences for counts 2 to 33 run concurrently with count 1. This means he will serve an effective 15 years in prison.

ALSO READ: Hawks arrest former Giyani manager over VBS corruption

The court also declared him unfit to possess a firearm.

Matodzi was the primary accused in the case and pleaded guilty to corruption, theft, fraud, money laundering, and a pattern of racketeering activities that saw the downfall of VBS Mutual Bank.

The state had alleged Matodzi and his accomplices looted nearly R2.3 billion from VBS’ coffers and doctored the bank’s 2017 financial statements to cover up that the bank was insolvent.

ALSO READ: ANC at loggerheads over appointment of VBS accused

“This outcome underscores the commitment of the DPCI(Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation) and the justice system to holding individuals accountable for their actions, particularly those that significantly harm the financial sector and public trust,” said the Hawks.

“The DPCI remains steadfast in its pursuit of justice and ensuring that such offences do not go unpunished.”

VBS arrests

Eight people were originally arrested in 2020.

In October 2020, former VBS executive Philip Truter struck a deal with the state and pleaded guilty to all charges.

Truter is currently serving an effective seven years behind bars.

The Hawks have arrested at least 33 suspects so far in connection with the collapse of VBS Mutual Bank.

ALSO READ: Three latest VBS Bank suspects granted bail

The latest suspects were arrested in March 2024 and appeared in the Giyani Magistrate’s Court.

Risimati Hitler Maluleke was granted bail of R25 000. This as Nditshedzeni Mashau and Zwivhuya Goodness Tshishonge are out on R20 000 bail each.

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