Poor South African Savers Ruined by Bank Collapse

"As treasurer of my stokvel, I had to go to the bank almost every day to find out what is happening," said Annah Muambadzi, 65, of the panic that gripped her savings club.
Fear spread through poor rural communities across South Africa in November when VBS, a regional bank that catered to poorer customers, collapsed.
It came as Muambadzi's son was about to get married, and university fees were due for another child.
"The ladies started looking at me suspiciously thinking I had stolen the money," she said of her savings club, known as a stokvel, into which members contribute an agreed amount each month.
"It broke down the trust."
The bank was left in ruins after 53 people stole $130 million deposited by individuals like Muambadzi and her club.
One of those implicated was the brother of Floyd Shivambu, a prominent leader of the radical Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party which has campaigned against corruption.
VBS was founded in 1982 at the height of apartheid in the Venda homeland, an area of modern-day Limpopo province reserved by white authorities for black communities.
Its collapse, after the High Court ordered it be liquidated, became one of the most serious corruption scandals to rock post-apartheid South Africa -- largely because so many victims were poor, black and female