Malema claims EFF is victim of smear campaign over its stance on VBS Bank
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EFF leader Julius Malema believes he has been victimised and accused of corruption because of his party's stance on rescuing VBS Bank.
Malema said he insisted to President Cyril Ramaphosa VBS Bank had to be saved because it was a "black bank".
The extent of the looting of VBS Bank was revealed in 2018 following a report released by the SA Reserve Bank. Over R1 billion was stolen from the bank.
Pensioners and stokvel holders lost out on funds deposited to the bank. Along with ordinary people, 20 municipalities illegally deposited funds to the bank and some have been unable to recover the funds.
Malema said the EFF has always been clear that VBS Bank should have been saved with those responsible for the stolen funds arrested and depositors refunded. He claims because of this stance he and his party have become victims in a political game meant to smear the party's name.
The EFF is alleged to have benefited from VBS funds paid to Sgameka Projects, a company run by Brian Shivambu – the brother to deputy president Floyd Shivambu. Sgameka is alleged to have forwarded over R5 million of the R16 million received from VBS to Mahuna Investments, a company run by Malema's cousin, the Daily Maverick reported.
The funds to Mahuna were allegedly used to fund Malema's lifestyle. The EFF leader has denied these claims. He insists the bank should have been saved.
"We wanted to defend the pride of the Venda people by demanding that the bank should not be closed. We said arrest those that stole the money and recover the money stolen and pay the depositors.
"I said to Ramaphosa if there is anything we can do to save this bank, then we need to save the bank. I said let's save the bank even post-collapse of the bank."
Malema said there was no investigation conducted by his party on the alleged links between Shivambu and VBS. He said there was no need for an investigation because he had spoken to Shivambu and he had denied the claims.
"There is no report. I gave my side of the story. The is no report because there was no inquiry.
"We asked the deputy president to take the party into its confidence. There has to be evidence, you do not just wake up and spend money that we do not have.
"There is no evidence to necessitate for an investigation," he told journalists during a round table discussion on Thursday.
Malema said he was not being investigated by the Hawks or Sars.
He said he was willing to be subjected to a lifestyle audit if needed to prove that he had no links to illegal funds.