Tshifhiwa Matodzi: Mastermind Behind VBS Mutual Bank Collapse Sentenced to 495 Years Imprisonment

Tshifhiwa Matodzi, the former VBS chairperson and mastermind behind the plunder of R2 billion from the collapsed VBS Mutual Bank, has been sentenced to 495 years in straight imprisonment.

Matodzi, 47, was sentenced on Wednesday at the Palm Ridge Specialised Commercial Crimes Court.

He has been regarded as the mastermind of a scam that defrauded seniors and cash-strapped towns of their bank savings.

He was accused with corruption, theft, fraud, money laundering, and a series of racketeering actions that led to the demise of VBS Mutual Bank.

Katlego Mogale, the Gauteng spokesperson for the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI), better known as the Hawks, stated that Matodzi pled guilty to 33 crimes and entered into a plea agreement with the State.

He was sentenced to 15 years for each offense.

“Although the aggregate sentence totals 495 years, the court has ordered that the sentences for counts two through 33 run concurrently with count one. As a result, Mr Matodzi will serve an effective 15-year prison sentence. “He was also deemed unfit to possess a firearm,” Mogale stated.

Matodzi was charged alongside former VBS CEO Andile Ramavhunga, former treasurer Phophi Mukhobdobwane, KPMG auditor Sipho Malaba, Lieutenant-General Avhashoni Ramikosi, a non-executive director, and Ernest Nesane and Paul Magula, both of whom represented the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) on the VBS board as non-executive directors.

Meanwhile, VBS’s former CFO, Phillip Truter, turned State witness and testified against all of the accused.

Truter stated that he was one among several people engaged in the theft of VBS Mutual Bank cash.

In 2020, Truter was sentenced to ten years in jail, with three years suspended.

Seven additional men and one woman were arrested in 2021 for their alleged involvement in the three-year theft spree at VBS Mutual Bank.

They include ANC Limpopo head Danny Msiza, ANC-linked ‘businessman’ Kabelo Matsepe, preacher and former VBS COO Robert Madzonga, a senior VBS bank manager, and three fixers.

In May, former ANC Limpopo provincial treasurer Msiza and Matsepe, a former ANC Youth League commander in the province, sought that the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) give them with “further particulars” about their case.

Matsepe and Msiza approached the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria because they were dissatisfied with the particulars provided by the NPA, and they filed an application requesting that prosecutors provide them with full and better particulars so that they could prepare for trial and formulate his defence.

In April, Judge Peter Mabuse denied their application.

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