VBS: Floyd Shivambu sees red

EFF leader sug­gests an in­quiry be es­tab­lished

Sunday World - - Front Page - By Aubrey Mothombeni Mothombe­nia@sun­day­world.co.za

EFF deputy pres­i­dent and chief whip Floyd Shivambu has come out guns blaz­ing against the Re­serve Bank and the Na­tional Trea­sury in his re­sponse to his al­leged in­volve­ment in the VBS Mu­tual Bank loot­ing.

In a state­ment re­leased yes­ter­day morn­ing Shivambu, who was al­leged to have re­ceived R10-mil­lion from his younger brother Brian, has de­nied ever re­ceiv­ing the money and in­stead has called for the es­tab­lish­ment of an in­de­pen­dent com­mis­sion of in­quiry to look into the role played by the Trea­sury, the Re­serve Bank (SARB) and VBS on the col­lapse of the bank.

Shivambu’s state­ment comes five days af­ter Ad­vo­cate Terry Mo­tau (SC) re­leased his re­port ti­tled The Great Bank Heist ”in which 53 peo­ple were im­pli­cated to have ben­e­fited from the R1.8-bil­lion si­phoned from VBS.

Among the 53 peo­ple listed in the re­port was the EFF leader’s younger brother Brian who, ac­cord­ing to the re­port, had re­ceived R16-mil­lion from the bank.

Brian has since re­leased a state­ment threat­en­ing to take le­gal ac­tion against the au­thors of the re­port, in­di­cat­ing that he was de­famed and was not even of­fered a right of re­ply de­spite the se­ri­ous­ness of the al­le­ga­tions lev­elled against him.

In his state­ment, Brian said the money re­ceived by his com­pany, Sgameka Projects, was for ser­vice ren­dered and did not come from VBS but Vele In­vest­ments, a com­pany he had ren­dered con­sult­ing ser­vices to.

Vele In­vest­ments, through Dyam­beu In­vest­ment, own 53% of the bank.

Floyd has been un­der pres­sure to ex­plain his role in the scan­dal since the re­port was re­leased.

“For the record, I have never re­ceived R10-mil­lion from VBS or any­one in my per­sonal ac­count. Face­less sources re­port­edly to be from South African Re­serve Bank, who have ul­te­rior mo­tives, have been mis­lead­ing jour­nal­ists and ra­dio pre­sen­ters with their ma­li­cious nar­ra­tives.

“I have no deal­ings with VBS and at­tempts 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,” reads the state­ment.

Shivambu also de­fended his party’s po­si­tion on the VBS saga, stat­ing that any “at­tempt to link the EFF po­si­tion to busi­ness deal­ings are disin­gen­u­ous and patently weak”. He said the EFF’s po­si­tion on the saga was that the bank must not be liq­ui­dated and should in­stead be re­cap­i­talised in the same way African Bank was re­cap­i­talised.

“The EFF’s prin­ci­pled po­si­tion on the VBS mat­ter has al­ways been that all peo­ple who were as­so­ci­ated with wrong­do­ing should be held ac­count­able and those who il­le­gally ben­e­fited from the fraud must be crim­i­nally pros­e­cuted im­me­di­ately;

“That while the col­lapse of VBS was due to fraud and loot­ing, it was also due to reg­u­la­tory fail­ure of the SARB, which fails to in­de­pen­dently ver­ify the cap­i­tal ad­e­quacy of [the] bank, but placed un­due faith in au­dit­ing firms de­spite warn­ings about the com­plic­ity of au­di­tors in cor­rup­tion;

“That the cu­ra­tor must pro­tect the in­ter­ests of de­pos­i­tors, and that the SARB should trans­par­ently man­age all is­sues that re­late to cu­ra­tor­ship of the bank and en­gage on fair prac­tise.”

He said his party also ex­posed the ap­point­ment of Ned­bank to take over the ac­counts of VBS de­pos­i­tors de­spite the fact that there were fewer Ned­bank branches and that the bank was the most ex­pen­sive.

“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,” added Shivambu.

Those who il­le­gally ben­e­fited from the fraud must be crim­i­nally pros­e­cuted im­me­di­ately

EFF deputy pres­i­dent Floyd Shivambu de­nies in­volve­ment in VBS ‘heist’.

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