Judge sets aside some findings in VBS judgment
CAPE TOWN - Danny Msiza, former ANC Limpopo provincial treasurer who allegedly used his influence to coerce municipal officials to invest in VBS Mutual Bank, has won a court case to have some findings about him in the investigation on the now defunct bank set aside on procedural grounds.
Judge Vivian Tlhapi of the North Gauteng High Court yesterday said that, although he did not “evaluate the truth or not in the affidavits”, the “adverse findings, remarks and conclusions” drawn by advocate Terry Motau in several paragraphs in the report (72, 73, 78, 81, 90) were reviewed and set aside.
Tlhapi found a failure by Motau to provide Msiza with the right to fair procedure had violated his constitutional rights.
The Prudential Authority, the second respondent in the case, was ordered to pay costs.
“It is my view that the application really concerns the violation of a right to a fair procedure by the first respondent (Motau) and the failure by the second respondent (Prudential Authority) to file a complete record,” Tlhapi’s judgment read.
Motau and law firm Werksmans implicated Msiza as being part of the VBS Mutual Bank municipal commissions scam in their forensic report, The Great Bank Heist.
In his application, Msiza had described some of the difficulty he had felt at not being able to present his case.
He had claimed it was “painful” to see the ANC Integrity Commission adopting the same attitude of denying him the opportunity to be heard, thereby forcing him to step down from his position in the ANC without due process, this “despite the presence of many leaders in the ANC who still hold office while facing allegations of serious impropriety”.
The Prudential Authority had asserted in the proceedings that the applicant (Msiza) did not have the general right to be heard and there was a general misconception that it was a requirement of natural justice to afford the interested parties the right to be heard during an investigation.
However, section 33 of the Constitution stated there was a duty on the State to give effect to lawful, reasonable and procedural fairness in administrative actions, and as given effect to in the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act.
“In both instances, this is a requirement that has to be fulfilled” the judgment said.
Msiza claimed the findings that he was the “kingpin” of a Commission Agency scheme, that a Kabelo Matsepe worked for him, and that he had used his position of influence on numerous occasions, were false.
He claimed reference to him as the “kingpin” who had facilitated bribes to municipal officials with “no shred of empirical evidence” had infringed on his constitutional rights as a businessperson.