Former Public Investment Corporation (PIC) chief executive Dr Dan Matjila on Wednesday said they had plans to help VBS Mutual Bank grow and develop it into a black player in the banking sector, but this was thwarted by Vele Investments.
Matjila made the comments at the commission of inquiry chaired by retired Judge Lex Mpati, which was investigating numerous questionable deals involving the PIC.
The directors of Vele Investments, which is the majority shareholder in VBS, were among those accused of siphoning hundreds of millions of rand out of the bank.
The PIC lost about R350 million when the bank collapsed.
Matjila said PIC supported the conversion of VBS from a building society into a mutual bank.
“Seeing it as an ideal banking vehicle to serve the disadvantaged public, but also to assist in the growth and development bank-owned and black-managed player in the banking sector with the aspiration that VBS will grow into a fully flashed bank into the future,” he said.
He said the PIC’s vision for VBS was destroyed when Vele Investments became the majority shareholder.
“The process of the acquisition of a majority stake in VBS by Vele Investments was kept secret from the PIC. I believe this should have been either a shareholder matter or our nominee directors had an obligation to alert us to this big change in the shareholding,” Matjila said.
The two PIC executives nominated to serve on VBS’s board were themselves being investigated for their role in the bank’s collapse and accused of colluding to keep the corporation and regulators in the dark.
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