N$60m in SA worker funds looted in SME Bank heist

24 January 2020 | Banking

A whopping N$60 million belonging to the South African Municipal Workers Union National Provident Fund was among the so-called investments that have gone missing as part of the SME Bank loot.

The Mail & Guardian this week reported that the N$60 million payment was made into an SME Bank account without written permission from the retirement fund. According to affidavits before the Namibian High Court, former SME Bank CEO, Zimbabwean Tawanda Mumvuma, on 12 October 2016 wrote to the managing director of JM Busha Asset Managers with an instruction to transfer N$60 million into the Namibian bank.

This amount was duly transferred from an account held at the VBS Mutual Bank one day later. That same day, Mumvuma signed a promissory note in favour of JM Busha, thus creating a liability of N$60 million for the SME Bank to JM Busha Asset Managers.

The Mail & Guardian reported that despite the SME Bank now being in liquidation, Joseph Busha, CEO of the investment fund, remains adamant that the N$60 million can be recovered, with interest.





In an interview with the SME Bank liquidators David Bruni and Ian McLaren last October, Busha contended that he may have been defrauded by Mumvuma.

Principal officer of the South African pension fund Themba Mfeka is quoted by the Mail & Guardia that part of the fund's 'investment' in the SME Bank is guaranteed by the Namibian government and directors of the fund.

Mfeka further claimed that there is litigation against the SME Bank's directors.

An anonymous source in Namibia denied Mfeka's claims.



The ruse

Tania Pearson, former SME Bank legal advisor, retained to assist in the liquidation process in court documents, states that the JM Busha 'investment' and others were attempts to cover up the loot.





Financial records and bank statements show that between December 2013 and January 2017 at least N$247.6 million was transferred out of the SME Bank's accounts held at Standard Bank and FNB Namibia to alleged recipients of the stolen funds.

A lot of these illicit payments were concealed as either for computer hardware or building costs, and when excessive amounts became difficult to justify, the fraudsters started to call the payments 'investments'.



The cover-up

During June 2016, the SME Bank's external auditor, BDO Namibia, questioned a number of transactions and requested copies of investment agreements.

Bank of Namibia (BoN) governor Iipumbu Shiimi also started to make enquiries, but received no feedback from the SME Bank.

Pressure on the bank, however, was mounting, at which point Mumvuma, Mauwane Kotane of Mamepe Capital (to which SME Bank allegedly made a number of investments), as well as Andile Ramavhunga, CEO of the [also looted] South African VBS Mutual Bank, 'devised' a scheme to pull funds from elsewhere back into the SME Bank accounts.

This led to the milking of – amongst others – the N$60 million from the South African municipal pension fund.

Pearson stated that Mumvuma, Kotane and Ramavhunga created documents in November 2016 to represent “to all and sundry”, including the BoN and BDO, that N$57 million was repaid to the SME Bank from a so-called investment held at VBS Mutual Bank.

“[They] had by then in fact created a further liability for the SME Bank,” Pearson declared.





CATHERINE SASMAN

Similar News

 

New banknote to celebrate independence

5 days ago - 18 February 2020 | Banking

The Bank of Namibia (BoN) will introduce a new banknote in commemoration of the country’s 30th Independence anniversary celebration on 21 March 2020, but said...

Nedbank Nam’s clients ‘insulated’ against data risk

6 days ago - 17 February 2020 | Banking

Nedbank Namibia has “categorically confirmed” that no client of the financial institution has been impacted by the data security issue that occurred at the premises...

Dos Santos assets still safe in Namibia

6 days ago - 17 February 2020 | Banking

The Bank of Namibia (BoN) says it has not received any instructions regarding the freezing of accounts held by Angola's beleaguered former first daughter Isabel...

Bank BIC unfazed by Dos Santos link

1 month - 09 January 2020 | Banking

Namibian-based Bank BIC is confident that its links to Isabel dos Santos will not harm its reputation.Bank BIC chief executive Lindsay Crawford said this in...

More loan options coming

1 month - 08 January 2020 | Banking

The Bank of Namibia plans to introduce securitisation, which will allow investors to design debt instruments that it will be able to repackage and sell.Securitisation...

Bank Windhoek ranked best bank

1 month - 03 January 2020 | Banking

Bank Windhoek has been rated as the best Namibian bank by stockbroking firm PSG in their annual Banking Review report, occupying the spot for the...

Bank of the Year

2 months ago - 06 December 2019 | Banking

One of the biggest financial publications, The Banker, recently announced Bank Windhoek as its bank of the year 2019. At the event hosted in London...

Black Friday, Cyber Monday and secure online shopping

2 months ago - 29 November 2019 | Banking

Riaan Viljoen With Black Friday enticing shoppers worldwide, and its online equivalent, Cyber Monday, a few days later, the number of online deals during this...

A step towards a better future

2 months ago - 29 November 2019 | Banking

The Capricorn Group has donated N$120 000 to the organisation Step out of Poverty through Education, Encouragement and Support (SPES), a charity established to serve...

Embracing the power of knowledge

3 months ago - 22 November 2019 | Banking

Evany van WykTaleni Nengola wakes up each morning ready to eat challenges for breakfast. Not literally, but you challenges better sleep with one eye open...

Latest News

Driving the world through knowledge...

2 days ago - 21 February 2020 | People

Ester Kamati Through dedication to his studies, Albin Jacobs matriculated and went on to secure a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Namibia....

Growth is back, says Calle

2 days ago - 21 February 2020 | Economics

Augetto Graig Despite the legislative framework for public private partnerships (PPP) being in place, not a single such project is on the finance ministry books.“Why...

A rock-hard year for Namdeb

2 days ago - 21 February 2020 | Business

Jo-Maré Duddy – Namdeb Holdings’ profitability tumbled by nearly a third last year with the local mining giant reporting an underlying EBITDA of US$121 million...

Fiercely determined

2 days ago - 21 February 2020 | People

Mariselle StofbergThe most important lesson that life has taught Maria Haufiku is that it does not owe you anything. “You must constantly strive for greatness...

No reprieve for Fishrot 6

2 days ago - 21 February 2020 | Justice

The so-called Fishrot Six yesterday returned to the Windhoek Magistrate's Court, which ordered that they be remanded in custody until 23 April to allow for...

Learners in dire straits

2 days ago - 21 February 2020 | Education

At Sinzogoro Combined School in the Kavango West Region, 130 learners are taught in tents where they sit on the ground to take notes. ...

More people at Fishcor must...

2 days ago - 21 February 2020 | Opinion

While a lot of light has been shone on the so-called Fishrot Six since the fishing quota bribery scandal unfolded late last year, the same...

Making it happen

2 days ago - 21 February 2020 | People

· Mariselle StofbergWindsor Markus believes that you have the power within you to take charge of your life and...

Covid-19: SA at ‘high risk’...

2 days ago - 21 February 2020 | Economics

South Africa, Egypt and Algeria are at high risk of suffering from the deadly coronavirus, a study released Wednesday suggested.The Lancet medical journal reported that...

Load More