Former mayor, municipal manager granted bail in VBS scandal

Former mayor, municipal manager granted bail in VBS scandal

Former mayor of Thulamela Local Municipality Avhashoni Tshifhango and municipal manager Hlengani Maluleke appeared in the Thohoyandou Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday. 

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This comes after the suspects were cuffed on Tuesday on allegations of corruption connected to the looting of VBS Mutual Bank.

Hawks spokesperson Katlego Mogale says the duo were granted bail of R30 000 each. 

“Tshifhango and Maluleke appeared before the Thohoyandou Magistrates’ court this morning and were granted bail of R30 000 each.  The pair was arrested yesterday morning on allegations of corruption and maladministration.”

Tshifhango was arrested for accepting a Jeep Cherokee valued at over R638 000 through a well-known VBS money laundering third-party during his tenure as mayor.

Maluleke allegedly invested R30 million of the municipality's money into VBS in contravention of the Municipal Finance Act.

“The matter was postponed to 24 May 2022 in the Polokwane Specialised Commercial Crimes Court,” says Mogale.

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“The accused are to surrender their passports to the investigating officer, they are not to make contact with witnesses directly or indirectly and if they would like to leave the country for any reason, the request must be made to the investigating officer.”

She adds that to date 25 people have been arrested and face more than 100 charges.

“So far at least 25 people have already been arrested and are in the criminal justice system, the face more than 100 charges.

“More suspects are expected to be arrested in the course of the investigation as bout 20 municipalities in Limpopo, North Werst and Gauteng lost nearly R1.6 billion after investing with the bank.”

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