EFF deputy leader may face the mu­sic in VBS case

Sunday Tribune - - FRONT PAGE - SIYABONGA MKHWANAZI siyabonga.mkhwanazi@inl.co.za

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.

AMID the VBS scan­dal, Nh­lanhla Nene stepped down as the coun­try’s fi­nance min­is­ter with for­mer SA Re­serve Bank gov­er­nor, Tito Mboweni to re­place him.

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