Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leadership. Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA)

JOHANNESBURG - The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) denied receiving corrupt funds after the brother of its deputy president was named in a South African Reserve Bank (Sarb) probe of benefiting from fraud at VBS.

A report commissioned by Sarb and published on Wednesday found at least R1.9 billion had been siphoned illegally from VBS, a failed bank that bailed out former president Jacob Zuma after a corruption scandal.

One of the beneficiaries was Brian Shivambu, who received R16 million of "looted" funds from VBS, the report said. 

Reuters could not reach Shivambu for comment.

He is the younger brother of EFF deputy President Floyd Shivambu.

EFF chairperson Dali Mpofu in an interview with eNCA denied the Sarb investigation implicated anyone in the party.

"There is no way the EFF got money from VBS. That I can say categorically," Mpofu said.

The Daily Maverick reported on Thursday that Floyd and the EFF had received money from VBS via his younger brother's company, citing sources.

Floyd did not respond to an email requesting comment. Earlier Mpofu tweeted that allegations against Floyd were an example of "mob justice".

"In the ignorant Republic of The Mob you can be charged for the deeds of your relatives," one tweet said.

The EFF has won over many poorer black voters disillusioned with the ANC over its failure to deliver on the wealth and land re-distribution promised by Nelson Mandela at the end of apartheid in 1994.

The party won more than six percent of the vote at the 2014 parliamentary election, only a year after it was formed. Polls suggest the EFF could double its share of the vote at next year's election, mainly at the expense of the ANC.

The EFF, led by expelled former ANC youth leader Julius Malema, has focused much of its energy on attacking senior ANC members for using their positions to corruptly enrich themselves and their families.