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Africa News of Wednesday, 17 June 2020

Source: bbc.com

Eight arrested over notorious SA bank scandal

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Eight men have been arrested in South Africa, accused of involvement in one of the country's most notorious corruption scandals – the looting and eventual collapse of VBS, a provincial bank that served poor communities.

The VBS scandal is alleged to have involved senior politicians, bankers and government officials in a giant web of corruption.

The suspects were arrested in a series of co-ordinated, early morning raids and include senior officials at VBS Mutual Bank, and an auditor from the international accounting firm KPMG.

This is a hugely significant moment for South Africa as it is alleged that bank officials conspired with prominent politicians and local municipalities to steal more than $100m.

Much of that money belonged to poor rural families saving to buy homes. The bank collapsed in 2018.

High-level corruption - known here in South Africa as "state capture" - is a huge problem, and prosecutors have been criticised for failing to put powerful figures on trial.

The eight officials arrested face charges of racketeering and fraud.

South Africans will now be watching closely to see if any implicated politicians will also be charged.

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