FLOYD CAN’T HIDE
EFF deputy leader may face the music in VBS case
THE EFF’S deputy leader, Floyd Shivambu, could be in trouble with the ethics committee in Parliament despite his denials that he benefited from the VBS Mutual Bank.
Shivambu could also be facing a probe by law enforcement agencies.
Yesterday, Shivambu denied he received any money from VBS, saying it was a lie being peddled by faceless people.
He said those responsible for the theft and looting of VBS Bank must face the full might of the law and be prosecuted.
He said he never received R10 million from the bank in his bank account.
“I have no dealings with VBS and any attempt to link the EFF to the bank for cheap political points is a clear sign of desperation and soon enough people will see through it,” said Shivambu.
He said the EFF always maintained VBS should not be liquidated, but recapitalised instead.
On the other hand, co-chairperson of the ethics committee, Omie Singh, said yesterday anyone could lodge a complaint against the EFF deputy leader and the committee would investigate the matter.
Singh said so far no one came forward to lay a complaint.
He said once a complaint was lodged, it would have to go through the internal processes of investigation.
“Anyone can complain against the member. Each complaint must go through an investigation. We have a process. You have to give the person a chance to respond,” said Singh.
Shivambu said he was never involved in taking money from the bank.
“If our interest was on siphoning money from the dissolved board members of VBS, we would have disengaged when the bank was placed under curatorship. We, however, continue to closely monitor depositors’ monies, made endless call to the Reserve Bank to give people their money, and motivated why the bank should be saved,” said Shivambu.
Other than the ethics committee which will potentially investigate Shivambu, some law enforcement agencies indicated in the week they would investigate.
The Hawks and the National Prosecuting Authority said they received the report from advocate Terry Motau, SC, and would be investigating the case.
Motau called for action and prosecution against those responsible for the looting of the bank.
The Hawks said five senior prosecutors would be assisting in its investigation.
The NPA said it would gather evidence to ensure that those responsible were brought to book.
The law enforcement agencies are under pressure to act on the matter with other political parties also calling for action against those behind the looting.
All parties announced in Parliament that they hoped the NPA and the Hawks would move quickly on the matter.
THE ANC in Limpopo is in crisis mode, battling to contain the likely fallout after the looting of almost R2 billion from VBS Mutual Bank which directly implicates two of its five top provincial office bearers.
It has set up a number of emergency meetings in Limpopo starting tomorrow, when it is expected to meet national executive committee (NEC) members deployed to the province, including convenor Thoko Didiza, to manage fallout over the alleged theft.
Other NEC members deployed to the province include new Finance Minister Tito Mboweni, his tourism counterpart Tokozile Xasa, former deputy arts and culture minister Rejoice Mabudafhasi, ANC MPS Thandi Mahambehlala and Bongani Bongo.
Yesterday, President Cyril Ramaphosa broke his silence on VBS, describing it as “one instance of the withering away of our society’s moral fibre, as a small minority enriched themselves with utterly no regard for the destitution and destruction they created in the lives of honest, hard-working South Africans”.
Ramaphosa said contemporary events in South Africa have thrust into the spotlight the pervasive influence of greed and self-accumulation at the expense of the people.
He added that testimonies at the commission of inquiry into state capture headed by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo painted a bleak picture of hidden hands purportedly manipulating key institutions and offices of state and abusing political patronage in a web of deceit.
ANC provincial secretary Soviet Lekganyane said the party’s officials in Limpopo would gather from tomorrow.
“These are urgent meetings,” he said.
Lekganyane said the provincial executive committee (PEC) would meet on Tuesday to deliberate on the VBS scandal.
“We are the ones who said it would be best if we briefed them.”
He said Tuesday’s PEC meeting would decide which important structures and alliance partners must be briefed on the matter the next day.
ANC Limpopo deputy chairperson and Vhembe District Municipality mayor Florence Radzilani and provincial treasurer Danny Msiza are two of the most senior politicians fingered in advocate Terry Motau’s damning report.
Motau found that Radzilani had solicited a larger bribe after she was given R300 000 when her juniors received R1.5 million for keeping her promise to block the money illegally invested in VBS from being reversed.
This comes as EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu yesterday denied reports that he pocketed R10m from his brother Brian who, according to the report on the collapse of the bank, had been paid R16m.
Msiza, who is taking legal action against Motau’s report, was found to have intervened on many occasions by using his political influence to assist VBS.
He allegedly used Kabelo Matsepe, a politically connected fixer who became a well-remunerated middleman and acted as a gatekeeper between VBS and municipalities.
Motau found that Matsepe worked for Msiza and had received over R35.4m in gratuitous payments.
The PEC of Cosatu’s political commission in Limpopo has also arranged a special emergency meeting tomorrow to discuss the VBS scandal.
Cosatu provincial secretary Gerald Twala said Motau’s report was long overdue, its findings a cause for concern and the federation wanted to know what happened to poor people’s monies.
Twala said the ANC should not have trouble acting against the mayors, municipal managers and senior local government officials who have deposited R3.4bn in VBS since 2015 as all the municipalities were under its control.
”The ANC must be able to act against its deployees,” he added.
The ANC’S other allies, the SACP and the SA National Civic Organisation in Limpopo, have also demanded that action be taken against Radzilani and Msiza.
Reserve Bank governor Lesetja Kganyago has described the VBS scandal as one of three “well-publicised event risks” that face the country’s banking and financial system in 2017/18.
The other two were the “accounting irregularities” at Steinhoff International, which saw share price collapse, and several negative reports on Capitec Bank.
In the central bank’s annual report, Kganyago said given VBS’S size and limited interconnectedness with the financial sector, it was not assessed to pose a systemic risk.
THE EFF’S Floyd Shivambu may be in trouble with Parliament’s ethics committee.