South Africa

7 VBS accused granted R100k bail each

JOHANNESBURG - Magistrate Brian Nemavhidi has on Thursday granted bail of R100,000 to each of the seven accused in the VBS Mutual Bank scandal case.

Magistrate Nemavhidi said they couldn't claim poverty.

Should applicants not be able to raise bail by 4 pm on Thursday, they will be detained at Midrand police station.

Earlier, the seven of the eight suspects who appeared in the Palm Ridge Regional Court said they intended to plead not guilty.

In his bail application, former VBS bank chairperson and alleged mastermind, Tshifhiwa Matodzi, said he was unemployed and had no assets.

• From bank heist to arrests: A timeline of the VBS scandal

The suspects appealed to the court not to prejudice them through excessive bail amounts.

They were arrested for their role in the multi-billion rand bank heist and face charges of money laundering, fraud, theft, and racketeering.

An eighth suspect is currently under COVID-19 quarantine.

The State had argued that while it did not oppose bail, it should be set at no less than R100,000.

Matodzi, former VBS bank CEO Andile Ramavhunga, former PIC nominee Ernest Nesane, as well as former audit committee chairperson, Lieutenant-General Avhashoni Ramikosi appealed to the court to set bail at R50,000.

Former treasurer Phophi Mukhodobwane, on the other hand, said he could only pay R20,000 for bail. And former KPMG auditor Sipho Malaba said he could only afford R10,000.

Meanwhile, the National Prosecution Authority (NPA) said it was happy that the Palm Ridge Regional Court accepted its proposal for bail of R100,000 for each of the seven accused.

“It sent a good message. We are content that after the postponement to 8 October 2020, we will be able to start the trial. The State is as ready as it can be,” said NPA spokesperson Sipho Ngwema.

Download the EWN app to your iOS or Android device.

Football news:

Thibaut Courtois: to take the title, you have to suffer. It is not easy to win every match
Antonio Conte: I will not hesitate before leaving if Inter are not happy with what I am doing
Diego Godin: Inter will do everything to keep second place. Now we need to think about how to catch up with Juventus
Harry Maguire: Manchester United want to fight for trophies
Zidane on the victory over Granada: real suffered as a team. Two more games, we haven't won La Liga yet
Real have won 11 games with a minimum score in La Liga for the first time in 11 years
Akinfenwa after Wycombe's exit to the championship: the Only person who can charge me even more is Klopp