Re­port names Ma­todzi’s PA as ma­jor ben­e­fi­ciary

Sunday Times - - News Vbs Scandal - By BON­GANI FUZILE

● A per­sonal as­sis­tant of for­mer VBS chair Tshifhiwa Ma­todzi, whose com­pa­nies re­ceived pay­ments amount­ing to more than R60m, has emerged as one of the ben­e­fi­cia­ries of the bank “heist”.

The Sun­day Times can re­veal that Takalani Veron­ica Mmbi bought five com­pa­nies that ben­e­fited from the VBS scan­dal from the Shelf Com­pany Ware­house in one week in 2016.

In ad­vo­cate Terry Mo­tau’s re­port for the South African Re­serve Bank, “The Great Bank Heist”, Mmbi is also linked to a sixth com­pany, which re­ceived R8m.

The Shelf Com­pany Ware­house is owned by Chris­tian Gouws, who has pre­vi­ously sold shelf com­pa­nies to the Gupta fam­ily.

The five com­pa­nies Mmbi bought from Gouws were reg­is­tered in July 2016 with the Com­pa­nies and In­tel­lec­tual Prop­erty Com­mis­sion, and name Gouws as a di­rec­tor. It is not clear why Mmbi did not re­move Gouws’s name as a di­rec­tor when she bought the com­pa­nies.

The amounts re­ceived from VBS in­clude:

● Bonuset (Pty) Ltd, R15.5m;

● Bonus­pace (Pty) Ltd, R8.9m;

● Bonu­log (Pty) Ltd, R10.7m;

● Bonusec (Pty) Ltd, R10.5m; and

● Van­ti­code, R10m.

Mmbi could not be reached for com­ment. The Sun­day Times sent ques­tions to her but she had not re­sponded at the time of go­ing to press.

Mo­tau said in his re­port that when VBS was placed un­der cu­ra­tor­ship in March, Mmbi par­tic­i­pated in the dis­posal of as­sets by Ma­todzi.

“She also spir­ited away doc­u­men­tary records. She was re­mu­ner­ated richly for her ef­forts,” the re­port says. Gouws yes­ter­day de­nied that he was in­volved with the five com­pa­nies he sold to Mmbi. “You know my busi­ness, I sell shelf com­pa­nies and peo­ple buy them,” he said.

“It looks like this one owner has failed to re­move my name as a di­rec­tor from all these five com­pa­nies you said have ben­e­fited from this VBS bank. I hon­estly have noth­ing to do with this. If one buys a shelf com­pany, that per­son has to change the di­rec­tor­ship.

“It sur­prises me to ap­pear in these com­pa­nies as di­rec­tor; I’ve sold these com­pa­nies … Un­for­tu­nately I can’t re­veal the name of the [buyer], but they be­long to one per­son,” said Gouws.

A per­son who is help­ing in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion of VBS, who asked not to be iden­ti­fied, said sus­pi­cions were aroused by Mmbi’s pur­chase of five com­pa­nies in a sin­gle week.

“You could tell that the per­son was on a mis­sion. It’s not sur­pris­ing to see that these com­pa­nies are in­volved in such scams.”

The source said the di­rec­tors of shelf com­pa­nies such as those bought from Gouws should be in­ves­ti­gated.

“Go to the peo­ple’s houses you will find the money stashed there. This is dirty money that would have been ‘red-flagged’ by ma­jor banks. It was cashed and stashed some­where.”

The sixth com­pany Mmbi bought from Gouws is Ven­mont, which re­ceived R8m from VBS.

Other com­pa­nies sold by Gouws that re­ceived pay­ments from VBS in­clude Van­ti­fu­sion, which is owned by Rashaka Zachariah Tshiv­hase and re­ceived R13.1m; Zanocube, which is owned by Mak­gala Ramot­soenyane and re­ceived R16.1m; and Viri­desol, which is owned by Sphiwe Afonso Mashaba and re­ceived R7m.

Mo­tau, whose re­port was re­leased this week, said 53 peo­ple ben­e­fited from “gra­tu­itous” pay­ments from VBS to­talling nearly R2bn.

“It is cor­rupt and rot­ten to the core. In­deed, there is hardly a per­son in its em­ploy in any po­si­tion of au­thor­ity who is not, in some way or other, com­plicit,” said Mo­tau, adding that crim­i­nal charges should be brought.

“The over­whelm­ing ev­i­dence that has been gath­ered, from nu­mer­ous sources, re­veals Ma­todzi to be the king­pin.”

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