Johannesburg – The former mayor and municipal manager of the Elias Motsoaledi Municipality have been arrested in connection with charges related to the VBS Mutual Bank saga.
Julia Mathebe, 51, who is now the current Sekhukhune district mayor, and the former municipal manager Minah Mared, 59, have been arrested on criminal charges related to the VBS Mutual bank case.
According to Hawks spokesperson Colonel Katlego Mogale, the arrests were a result of an ongoing investigation into the VBS Mutual Bank investments that were conducted by municipalities in contravention of the Municipal Finance Management Act.
“The municipal manager is said to have been instrumental in investing R190 million of municipal funds into the VBS Mutual Bank, wherein the mayor received over R300 000 in gratification, which included cash, accommodation and flight tickets. These were channelled through a company belonging to her children,” said Mogale.
The ANC in Limpopo has released a statement noting the arrests.
ANC Limpopo Provincial Secretary, Reuben Madadzhe said they supported efforts by law enforcement agencies to ensure those who were implicated in the VBS saga were brought to book.
“Whilst we fully support the law to take its course, we equally call upon all sectors of the society to respect the rights of Cde Julia Mathebe of being innocent until proven otherwise by the competent court of law.”
Furthermore, the ANC in Limpopo has also corrected reports by the media which suggest that the municipality in question has lost money as a result of the investment in VBS.
“Without indulging into the merits of the case, it must be noted that the municipality suffered no financial loss as a result of the investment,” said Madadzhe.
Mathebe will also be stepping aside from her responsibilities of leadership and the deployment as per the resolution of the 54th National Conference and guidelines adopted by the National Executive Committee while this matter goes to court.
“The ANC is giving Cde Julia Mathebe space and respect for her to attend to the court matter without any distraction,” said Madadzhe.
Their case was postponed to 2 March 2023 after they were granted bail of R30 000 each.