The estranged wife of Vele Investments CEO Robert Madzonga, who reportedly scored more than R30m from VBS Mutual Bank, has come forward to clear her name.
“I never received money from VBS. I never received money from Robert. I worked for my money, that’s why I was never able to track what Robert was doing,” beauty queen Khosi Madzonga said in an interview with Radio 702 on Friday morning.
When asked by host Bongani Bingwa if she bought herself a Lamborghini, she said: “It’s not mine. Why am I not with it where I’m staying? I don’t have a Lamborghini. I have the same car I had before I got married.”
The Sunday Times reported in October 2018 that Robert was one of the people named in Advocate Terry Motau’s “The Great Bank Heist” report on VBS Mutual Bank. The report was commissioned by the South African Reserve Bank and found, over the past three years, that more than 50 people benefited from “gratuitous” payouts totalling nearly R2bn from the Limpopo-based bank.
It said Robert received more than R30m via a vast network of companies and fronts. He was also a pastor and owns a mansion worth R8.5m in Blue Hills, north of Johannesburg, and a home in Plettenberg Bay. His cars included a Brabus-tuned Mercedes-Benz G63 which sells for R2.5m, a Lamborghini and a Rolls-Royce Phantom.
Khosi flaunted these cars on social media. She said Robert owned fancy cars when they first met about a decade ago.
“I am not this person that kind of follows my husband. ‘What did you do today? How much money did you make today?’ I was busy with my own things… I never knew his business life in details,” Khosi said.
“I don’t care about the flashy life. I don’t care. That doesn’t define me.”
She said VBS did not change their lives “much”.
“It was the life we had already, right. It was just the new cars which came in and out.”
Khosi said that after media reports, she started taking notice of what was happening.
“He was just telling me that he is not guilty. That’s all he said. He forever denied that he is guilty.”
Motau said he could make no definitive finding as to what specific role Madzonga might have played, but his denial of any knowledge or involvement in the fraud and theft “rings hollow”.
Madzonga, 51, has protested his innocence.
“The amounts are for salaries, bonuses, for cars and for bonds,” he said in October.
“I did not benefit from the looting… Until today I pay for my house and my cars, and if I don’t pay they can come and repossess them.”
He said he’d been hired by the company and never questioned where the money to pay him came from.
Motau said in his report that “there is hardly a person in its [VBS’s] employ in any position of authority who is not, in some way or other, complicit”.