283pp., b/w & colour illus., paperback, Cape Town, 2020
In 2016, VBS Mutual Bank in Limpopo (originally the Venda Building Society), gave President Jacob Zuma a controversial home loan to repay the state for improvements to his Nkandla homestead. The bank, owned by Vele Investments, abruptly went into curatorship in March 2018 due to a R2-billion fraud.
Dewald van Rensburg on how suspected mastermind Tshifhiwa Matodzi and his associates took control of VBS, made use of ANC patronage networks and were endorsed by Venda royalty, and were guaranteed up to R3.5 billion in unlawful funding from municipalities and other state institutions.
Journalist Dewald van Rensburg originally broke the story alongside his colleague Sipho Masondo at City Press. His work on the bank's collapse won him the Sikuvile journalism awards for Investigation of the Year, Story of the Year and Journalist of the Year in 2019. Dewald currently works at the amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism.