ANC defends lifting suspension on VBS looting suspects
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Johannesburg - ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule has defended the party’s decision to let two of its Limpopo leaders implicated in the VBS Bank looting scandal off the hook.
Magashule was addressing the media on Wednesday on the outcome of the ANC national executive committee's (NEC) virtual meeting which took place over the weekend.
ANC Limpopo treasurer Danny Msiza and former Vhembe Municipality mayor Florence Radzilani have been on suspension since 2018 after they were fingered in the R2billion looting scandal which has seen a number of senior VBS officials arrested and charged recently by the Hawks.
Magashule said the party resolved to lift the suspensions as Msiza and Radzilani had not been among those charged by law-enforcement agencies, despite their names appearing in the VBS report which was commissioned by the SA Revenue Service.
“It noted that it is now close to two years that the two comrades stepped aside from the positions of provincial deputy chair and provincial treasurer respectively. There was overwhelming support in the NEC that the two comrades be reinstated to their positions,” Magashule said.
He said the implication of the two leaders in the report did not mean they had to remain on suspension adding that the national leadership would be engaging its Limpopo structures to explain the decision.
“These comrades have not been charged by anybody. These comrades, in terms of allegations, were mentioned in several reports like many comrades were mentioned in reports.”
Magashule said the ANC NEC welcomed the suspension of 14 ANC councillors who were accused of taking part in the looting of food that was being distributed to communities as part of Covid-19 relief efforts.
“Although this is a tiny minority of the over 4000 ANC councillors who continue to diligently and ethically serve their communities, such actions undermine public trust and confidence in our movement. The NEC called on ANC structures to continue to be vigilant and act promptly where there is the misuse of food relief or other wrong-doing, and for public representatives to be diligent and ethical in serving their communities,” he said.
The party also weighed in on the crisis at SAA where Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan and unions are at loggerheads over the business rescue plan which proposes 3700 job cuts to save the airline.
The National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa), a majority union within SAA, has written to the governing party requesting its intervention in opposing the retrenchments.