Zuma under investigation for Nkandla ‘home loan’: report

Former president Jacob Zuma began payment on his R7.8 million loan for Nkandla only after VBS Mutual Bank was put under curatorship in March this year.

According to a report by the Sunday Times, this was a full 18 months after the loan was originally granted.

The paper reports that a special team comprising Hawks investigators and senior prosecutors from the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has now been tasked with looking into who serviced Zuma’s loan since September 2016, when it was granted.

The Hawks team will be examining suspected money-laundering, corruption and fraud at the bank, and whether executives at VBS created fictitious deposit entries against Zuma’s account to make it seem as if it was being serviced monthly.

Speaking to the Sunday Times, a source close to the VBS investigation said that Zuma started making repayments of about R70,000 a month from March – after the bank went into curatorship.

“The payment profile changed in March 2018 to reflect Zuma as the person depositing the money. What we are unable to see is who was making payments before then,”  the source said.

On Wednesday (10 October), the South African Reserve Bank published a report focusing on the mass looting of VBS Mutual Bank, with investigators effectively finding that there is no way for the bank to be saved.

It was found that close to R2 billion had been looted from the bank by over 50 individuals.

Advocate Terry Motau, who led the investigation, said that about R1.89 billion was “gratuitously” taken from VBS by 53 people between 1 March 2015 to 17 June 2018.

The individuals include many of the top executives at the bank and other related parties.

“It was not possible, in the course of the interviews, to obtain a clear picture of the precise amount that has been looted from VBS by its captors,” the Motau said.

“Indeed, that is something that the curator will need to ascertain accurately when he completes a full restatement of VBS’ financial position. Nor was I able to ascertain, with precision, the amounts that every participant in the looting received.

“To a great extent, I have been limited by what the various interviewees confessed to.”

Read: 53 people exposed in South Africa’s great bank heist – full report

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Zuma under investigation for Nkandla ‘home loan’: report