ANC leaders to thrash out #VBSBankHeist answers today
On Sunday the party said it was not sure if it received funding from the embattled VBS Mutual Bank looting spree, which saw almost R2 billion siphoned from the bank’s coffers.
This comes after the man at the centre of the scandal, Tshifhiwa Matodzi - a former chairperson of the bank - said the ANC, SACP, DA and the EFF had all benefited from the bank as they asked for sponsorship from it.
On Monday the ANC Limpopo leadership is meeting with the ruling party’s officials to discuss the VBS matter.
ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe said he was aware of the allegations that the governing party asked for and secured donations from the bank, which is now under curatorship and faces closure.
“We are aware of these allegations and we are trying to ascertain from the office of the treasurer where they are indeed true or not. My answer cannot be a yes or no. I am still waiting for the records. These are serious allegations, so we have to be careful," Mabe said.
He said the party did not want to deny the allegations only to learn that it did get money from the embattled bank.
“I will say no today and then tomorrow find information that will make me have to change my statement. Let us wait. Once I get the documents, I will be able to say,” Mabe said.
DA national spokesperson Solly Malatsi has however denied that the party had ever asked for or secured donations from VBS Mutual Bank.
“The DA has never ever received a single cent from VBS. Those claims by that gentleman are completely untrue,” Malatsi said.
Last week on Thursday, the official opposition opened criminal charges against those implicated by the South African Reserve Bank report, titled “The Great Bank Heist", which detailed how the bank was looted by its executives in collusion with politicians. While Matodzi has been identified as the kingpin of the grand scale pillaging of the only black-owned bank in the country, he was not interviewed during the investigation, according to the lead investigator, Advocate Terry Motau.
Motau said this was due to his lack of credibility which he demonstrated in the affidavit he produced when his estate was being sequestrated by the curator of the bank, where he denied any responsibility and instead blamed the executives.
“Matodzi’s bald denial and his absurd attempt at an innocent explanation fly in the face of the weighty evidence which places him squarely in the centre of the scandal.
"In the light of Matodzi’s denial of all involvement I adopted the view that it would be a waste of the investigation’s time and resources to give Matodzi a platform to plead his innocence.
"That he can do in another forum in due course,” Motau said.
The EFF said it would address allegations of its link to the bank tomorrow, including claims that its deputy president Floyd Shivambu’s brother, Brian, diverted some of the R16 million loot he secured to him and the party.
The party’s Limpopo treasurer Danny Msiza, who is implicated in the scandal, is demanding the retraction of the damning report against him.
Msiza has given Motau until the end of business today to retract his forensic report and to formally apologise to him.
He wrote the letter of demand on Saturday and gave Motau today as deadline which coincides with a scheduled meeting of the ANC Limpopo leadership under Stan Mathabatha and the ANC national working committee.
Last night, however, Motau said he did not receive the letter of demand. He said people have every right to do with the report as they please.
The ANC in Limpopo had initially planned to discuss the alleged involvement of Msiza and Vhembe mayor Florence Radzilani, who is deputy provincial chairperson, at their meeting on Thursday but it had to be postponed due to unavailability of Mathabatha.
On Sunday all calls made to Mathabatha, ANC provincial secretary Soviet Lekganyane, Msiza and their party’s communications team went unanswered.
* Read more on the #VBSBankHeist here.