Philip Truter, the former CFO at VBS bank when it was looted of billions, is set to plead guilty and has apologised for his actions. He's been granted R50,000 bail.
The Palm Ridge Commercial Crimes Court on Monday heard from former VBS Mutal Bank chief financial officer, Philip Truter, who is the eighth accused in the looting of the bank of R2.3bn. He shocked the court when, through an affidavit read out by his lawyer, he said has taken responsibility for his actions and would please guilty to all 47 charges against him. Truter cried through most of the hearing and said he was sorry for the hardship that the bank caused its depositors.
Truter was visibly stressed, stating in his affidavit that he is reliant on his wife after the South Gauteng High Court sequestered his estate in 2018 and he hasn't been able to get a job since then. Hi wife, who submitted a supporting affidavit, stated that he would be admitted to the Vista Psychiatric Hospital on Monday as he is physically unwell and emotionally struggling.
She also told the court that she earns R12,000 net salary per month and that they had to rely on family and the church for food, nappies and soy milk for their child who has allergies.
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPS) spokesperson, Sipho Nhwema, said the accused's appearance follows his arrest over the weekend. "The accused asked for R50 000 bail and the State didn’t oppose. He has to hand over his passport and is prohibited from travelling outside South Africa. The matter was postponed to October 8, 2020.
"Truter will join the other seven accused, Tshifhiwa Calvin Matodzi, 42, chairman of VBS board of directors; Andile Malusi Attwell Ramavhunga, 41, VBS CEO; Phophi Londolani Mukhodobwane, 35, head of treasury and capital management; Sipho Nhlanhla Kelvin Malaba, 47, VBS audit engagement partner; Thifhelimbilu Ernest Nesane, 41, former executive legal head at Public Investment Corporation (PIC); Paulus Nnditsheni Magula, 43, former executive head of risk management at PIC and former lieutenant-general Phalaphala Avhashoni Ramikosi, 46, chairman of the audit committee.”
While in custody, his wife said that officers needed to assist him with anxiety medication.
According to Prosecutor, JH van der Merwe, Truter had approached the State and offered to provide information, saying he would reveal everything to the state. "We have no reason to doubt that we will come to an agreement... He intends to serve a sentence that will reflect the seriousness of the crimes."
Truter is the only one of the eight accused to plead guilty, saying that he wanted to assist the prosecution as a witness and that he can't afford to pay lawyers. He was released on R50,000 bail, while the rest were released on R100,000.
All eight of the accused will appear in court again on 8 October.
For more, see the update from eNCA at the court in the video below.