Picture: Twitter

CAPE TOWN - Who is Brian Answer Shivambu? That seems to be the main question on many people's minds as more and more details come to light over the VBS Mutual scandal. 

The quick answer is that Brian is the brother of EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu.

Brian is one of the 50 people implicated in the forensic report, “VBS Mutual Bank - The Great Bank Heist”, which was released by the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) on Wednesday. 

According to the report by SARB, Brian was given a staggering R16 million from VBS Mutual Bank. 

The total amount lost in the scheme is R1.8 billion, according to the SARB report. 

PROFILE

According to LinkedIn Brian is or was a managing member at Mabyeni Trading and Projects. 

The businessman has previously worked for Big Brands Media, according to his profile and has been in the events services industry. 

In terms of education, his LinkedIn profile said that Brian attended the Tshwane University of Technology.

A screen grab of a post from Floyd Shivambu circulated on Twitter.

At the university, Brian worked towards an N.DIP in local government finance and accounting. He was also the chairperson of ANCYL, TUT branch and was an active member of the South African Students Congress. 

Brian was also a member of the Students Representative Council from 2009 to 2010 and the chairperson of the Religious and Cultural desk. Lastly, Brian was the chairperson of the Department of Public Sector Finance at the university.

Screen grab from LinkedIn.

There were a number of spelling errors on the LinkedIn page.

WORK EXPERIENCE 

It should be noted that Brian has worked at Mabyeni Trading and Projects from March 2011. 

According to the site, Brian was involved in brand development and "developed brand strategy and statistics systems". 

In addition to the brand work he did, he also conducted strategic consulting that included business planning and sales strategy development.

The website also said he assisted in advising new businesses on formation of corporations and business structures.

In terms of his time at Big Brands Media, Brian has it listed under the 'Board member' category and he worked there from March 2011 to 2012. This suggests a duration of one year. 

According to News24, Brian is also a director at a company called Sunshine Hub. Brian is a co-director with his father Elias Shivambu. 

He told the media outlet that he can confirm that he is the father of both brothers but emphasised that he had no idea or information on the R16m in question.

Brian Answer Shivambu. Picture: LinkedIn


EFF CONNECTION 

According to Brian's Twitter page, he is also employed at the EFF's headquarters. 

To date, Floyd Shivambu has remained silent on the report by the SARB and the implications and accusations made against his brother. 

The EFF did release a statement on Wednesday, where the party called for the criminal prosecution and blacklisting of all those who illegally benefited from the defrauding at VBS Mutual Bank.

The EFF said that it "reiterates its position that all who are responsible and illegally benefited from the fraud must be criminally prosecuted immediately". 

"As we have previously indicated, we also reiterate that they must be black-listed. Above all, the law enforcement agency must do all they can to ensure that all the money that can be recovered must be paid back in full, including attaching properties of the individuals who benefited from the defrauding of VBS. 

"The EFF is concerned by the findings that the bank cannot be saved. Shutting down the bank will not help to efforts to increase black participation in the financial sector. A recovery plan that can save the bank or support of other black-owned prospective black license applicants to service the people in the rural area with PTOs must be devised," the party said.

"Finally, it is concerning that such looting has been allowed to happen since 2015 and all the much celebrated institutional mechanisms of reporting and monitoring banks by the SARB were not sufficient to prevent the defrauding of VBS. Only upon the bank giving Jacob Zuma a loan did concerns arise and decisions to closely look into its affairs happen.

"We call on the SARB to review its ability and mechanisms to monitor banks as the failure of VBS is inadvertently the failure of the SARB itself to protect ordinary citizens from being scammed by institutions masquerading as banks under its watch."

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