Malema denies any VBS Bank links, open to 'being scrutinised'
EFF leader Julius Malema has again challenged those accusing him and his deputy, Floyd Shivambu, of having benefited from the multibillion-rand looting of the VBS Bank, to scrutinise him and produce evidence.
Malema was hosting a public question session with a group of journalists which he convened to field questions on a variety of controversies surrounding him and the party.
In 2018, an investigation report of the SA Revenue Service (Sars), titled "The Great Bank Heist", revealed that Brian Shivambu received R16 million from the now collapsed VBS Mutual Bank.
Some of the money was channelled to Mahuna Investments, owned by Malema's cousin, Matsobane Phaleng, and Grand Azania, which is linked to Floyd Shivambu.
Malema dismissed allegations he and Shivambu had participated in the R2 billion looting of the bank, adding he had no links with VBS, which predominantly kept savings of pensioners and the poor.
“I have never spoken to VBS people. The person I know in VBS, and not know that much about that person, is Matodzi, the chairperson of Vele Investments, who was introduced to me at the party of the VhaVenda King Mphephu. I have never had any dealings with them,” he said.
He said he was willing to open his forms of communication for scrutiny as the investigation into the saga is under way by the Hawks and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to prove he had no links with those who led or looted the bank.
“The Hawks have access to all our forms of communication. They can even apply Section 205, get it from the judge and go into the history of our phones.
"In this case, they have done it by the way with the VBS colleagues who are arrested. Nowhere will you ever find me in any form of communication with any of the VBS people,” he said.
At the heart of the allegations against Malema and Shivambu are bank cards of Mahuna Investments and Grand Azania into which the VBS loot was deposited and which appeared to be always in the possession of the two leaders as they followed them when they travelled and made purchases.
Malema defended himself by saying the purchases with the bank card followed him because his brother was always where he was.
“He is a brother of mine. We work together so there is no problem if his card gets to be used where I am. He is here now and the card might be used somewhere here now,” he said.
The EFF generated controversy when it publicly opposed the placing of VBS under curatorship as the party was accused of protecting its alleged benefits from the bank’s looting.
Malema said the government had to “save the bank and arrest the criminals”.
“I see that as trying to silence us in protecting a black bank.
“The VBS was supposed to have been rescued because it was one of the black banks and it should have been given a full banking licence and anyone found to have violated the banking regulations should be charged and blacklisted not to practice banking anywhere in the country,” he said.