EFF asks Blade if VBS bankrolled SACP congress
THE EFF has intensified its fight with SACP boss Blade Nzimande over the VBS Mutual Bank saga.
Yesterday it emerged that the EFF, some of whose leaders have been accused of having links to VBS, wrote a letter to Nzimande, the Transport Minister, asking him if the SACP had received a donation for its congress last year. In the letter, EFF deputy leader Floyd Shivambu wants to know if the SACP received R3 million for a conference.
But the SACP yesterday denied receiving any payment from Vele Investment, the majority shareholder in VBS, for its Joburg conference.
SACP spokesperson Alex Mashilo said no funds were received from Vele Investments or VBS. “I have checked with our finance department and they made it clear that we did not receive a cent from Vele Investments or VBS,” said Mashilo.
In the letter, Shivambu says the SACP must come clean on the matter.
“The EFF writes to officially enquire if the SACP received a donation of R3m from Vele Investments or any of its subsidiaries during its 2017 congress paid directly to Birchwood Hotel,” reads the letter. “We ask the minister to answer honourably and honestly. We also request the minister to expeditiously attend to the matter, given its urgency and sensitivity.”
Shivambu’s brother, Brian, is alleged to have scored R16m from Vele Investment.
The Transport Department did not respond to questions by the time of going to print.
The EFF’s letter to Nzimande came after the SA Reserve Bank, the National Treasury, the National Prosecuting Authority and the Hawks briefed MPs yesterday on progress made in the case against those behind the VBS theft.
Advocate Terry Motau, SC, who compiled the report, “The Great Bank Heist”, was also at the meeting in Parliament, where he defended his report.
Limpopo Premier Stan Mathabatha said municipal managers and chief financial officers were suspended for their involvement in the saga.
More than 14 municipalities in Limpopo, North West and Gauteng deposited R1.57 billion into VBS despite instructions from National Treasury not to do so.
Reserve Bank deputy governor Kuben Naidoo told Parliament it would not be possible to save VBS, noting the court application for the liquidation of the bank would be heard next week.
The EFF has been pushing for the government to save VBS. But Naidoo told MPs this would not be possible.
“The bank has no money and it cannot sustain itself. Under liquidation there is a probability it can be saved. Our advice is, if advocate Motau has R1 billion, why would he want to start at minus R372 million? If people out there can put money in, they can.”
Naidoo said if people wanted to buy VBS, they would be able to break even in 12 years because of the R372m hole in the bank.
Meanwhile, the SA Municipal Workers’ Union denied it had been part of the VBS scandal. It blamed former officials for spreading rumours about a loss of funds in the bank.
“Samwu has never mortgaged its head office or invested workers’ money with VBS. Those expelled from the union should desist from spreading false rumours. The only facility we have with VBS is a loan religiously serviced monthly,” Samwu said.
The ANC has admitted receiving R2m from Vele Investments, but said it was willing to pay it back.
The Banking Association of SA has suspended VBS’ membership.