New evidence before the high court shows how ANC Limpopo treasurer general Danny Msiza personally benefited from the wide-scale looting of VBS Mutual Bank, despite his denials.

Msiza received more than R1.5m paid to a company of which he and his wife are directors, from a middleman who facilitated multi-million rand unlawful deposits from municipalities into VBS, Kabelo Matsepe.

Matsepe’s company Moshate, also assisted in servicing a R9.5m bond VBS granted to Msiza’s company for a Pietersburg property under dubious circumstances by VBS.

Msiza was identified in an explosive report by advocate Terry Motau SC, titled ‘The great bank heist’, as a kingpin who facilitated through his political influence the ‘investments’ by Limpopo municipalities in VBS bank, totaling hundreds of millions of rands.

VBS was placed under curatorship in March this year, which led to many of the municipality’s deposits being ‘frozen’. These municipalities are now facing financial ruin, and are likely to be placed under administration as they struggle to recover from the depletion of their coffers.

The municipal officials were paid ‘commissions’ or bribes to facilitate the investments, which were used to plug cash gaps in the bank’s books.

Now despite his denials new court papers show how Msiza personally benefited from looted VBS cash.

Motau was mandated, together with Werksmans attorneys, by the Prudential Authority (formerly the Registrar of Banks) to investigate findings by the curator, Anoosh Rooplal, that the bank had been driven into a position of financial difficulty through massive fraud.

Motau found that more than R2bn was stolen.

Backfired

Msiza, who has been fighting for his political life in recent weeks, filed a court application in October seeking to challenge Motau’s report and in particular, for paragraphs of the report to be “expunged/deleted” from the report.

It would now appear that his court application has backfired.

Motau’s responding papers, which were served on Tuesday have revealed the evidence that motivated his conclusions and findings that Msiza played a crucial role in the VBS looting scheme.

Motau was only required to provide the court with his reasons for including facts and testimony emanating from his investigation that dealt with Msiza.

Motau annexed WhatsApp messages between Msiza and Kabelo Matsepe, who Motau idescribed his report as a politically connected fixer “who became a very well remunerated middleman and acted as a gatekeeper between VBS and the municipalities”.

He also provides the court with transcripts of interviews he conducted with various VBS roleplayers.

“The documentary evidence shows that the applicant has benefited substantially from his relationship with Kabelo Matsepe and his company, Moshate Investments,” Motau’s papers read.

Moshate Investments had in total received R27m between December 2015 and March 2018.

In exchange, Matsepe would ‘introduce’ municipalities to VBS and “if the municipality invests”, Matsepe would earn a commission – paid from various slush fund accounts operated by VBS’ majority shareholder Vele Investments.

Matsepe, the former ANCYL leader in Limpopo, confirmed he had received the commission payments, but denied that there was anything unlawful afoot.

The house VBS bought

Motau now highlights how a bond for R9.5m was registered with VBS in the name of Mojovax – a company of which Msiza and his wife are the sole directors.

Mojovax entered into a deed of sale to acquire the Pietersburg property in December 2016. In January 2017, Msiza forwarded the deed of sale to former CEO of VBS, Andile Ramavhunga.

Ramavhunga forwarded it to another VBS employee stating “Can you please prepare for this. It’s very important that we are diligent about this. It’s for the Limpopo treasury TG.”

“No proper application was made for the mortgage facility,” Motau’s court papers read. “The only record of an application is to be found in an incomplete form.”

The form – which Motau also attached, shows that Msiza’s company Mojovax is the applicant but no further details are provided and no financial assessment was conducted on the company, no supporting documentation to prove the replacement values and market value of the property and several parts were left blank.

“Despite this, it is clear that Mojovax was granted a mortgage loan facility of R9.5-million,” Motau states.

By May 19 2017, the transfer of the Pietersburg property was done in favour of VBS and on 31 May 2017 – after the bond account was created internally – VBS the full R9.5m was paid to two law firms in respect of the purchase.

Now it was simply up to Msiza to keep up with his monthly repayments.

But, in what has become almost the norm for politically connected persons who secured loan facilities through VBS under questionable circumstances, he did not.

Instead, sporadic payments were made from Matsepe’s company, Moshate  – using cash Moshate had been paid for facilitating the unlawful municipal investments.

Motau attaches proof that shows how between July 11 2017 and March 29 2018, Moshate (Matsepe) paid a total of R716 000 into Mojovax’s (Msiza’s) bond account with VBS.

A further R1.315m was paid from an unknown Standard Bank account in four payments on 20 March, 8 May, 4 July and 13 July 2018.

“There has been no further payment to the Mojovax bond account since 13 July 2018,” Motau states.

Motau also details how Matsepe’s Moshate received a R500 000 payment from VBS the day before he in turn paid R200 000 into Mojovax’s bond account.

Motau also reveals from bank statements he obtained of Moshate’s accounts, that Msiza’s company (Mojovax) was paid R1.5m on  January 17 2018 by Matsepe, a day after VBS paid R2m to his company, Moshate.

More to follow.

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