EFF leader Julius Malema  Picture: Thobile Mathonsi/African News Agency (ANA)
EFF leader Julius Malema Picture: Thobile Mathonsi/African News Agency (ANA)

VBS bank looting: Malema’s turn to fall on his sword

By EDITORIAL Time of article published Sep 11, 2019

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Just over three weeks ago, two EFF MPs, Tebogo Mokwele and Nkagisang Mokgosi, were forced to walk the plank and resign from Parliament for each accepting R80 000 from President Cyril Ramaphosa’s CR17 campaign funds.

Their names appeared on leaked bank statements which are the subject of a judicial review after Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s findings that donations to the campaign amounted to money laundering.

This week, Mokwele and Mokgosi would have been sitting at home when the news broke that their “commander-in-chief” Julius Malema funded a lavish lifestyle through money looted from the bankrupted VBS Mutual Bank.

According to Daily Maverick’s investigation, Malema had in his possession the Absa bank card belonging to Mahuna Investments, owned by his cousin, Matsobane Phaleng.

Mahuna had received R5.3million from the R16.1m paid from VBS Bank to Brian Shivambu’s Sgameka Projects.

Shivambu is the younger brother of EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu.

According to the Daily Maverick, the Mahuna cash was used by Malema to fund lavish parties across the country, purchases at luxury goods stores Gucci and Louis Vuitton, and stays at upmarket hotels as well as his oldest son’s school fees.

In the absence of a coherent response from the EFF (how else does one explain such looting?), Malema’s sycophants on social media tried to deflect attention. But, like the leaked CR17 bank statements, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

Don’t expect Malema to pause for a moment and reflect on his hypocrisy.

Thousands of depositors from Limpopo who invested their life savings in VBS are today penniless. Ultimately, their deposits funded the bling lifestyles of connected individuals and politicians like Malema and Shivambu.

Floyd Shivambu’s racist attack on Treasury deputy director-general Ismail Momoniat should be seen in this context, because he was instrumental in launching a probe into the collapse of VBS, and pushed for the prosecution of those implicated.

While the appointment of Shamila Batohi as national director of public prosecutions was welcomed, South Africans are becoming impatient and demanding action by the NPA into VBS’s looting and the myriad of cases in which high-ranking politicians have been implicated.

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