Johannesburg - President Cyril Ramaphosa on Saturday broke his silence on the VBS scandal, saying that "those who have done wrong against our people should be made to account without delay".
An independent report commissioned by the SA Reserve Bank to probe the collapse of the mutual bank found that there was "wide-scale looting and pillaging of the monies placed on deposit at VBS".
The monies were clients' life savings and deposits, including millions of rands deposited by municipalities.
The report, titled "The Great Bank Heist" showed that at least 50 people "gratuitously" received R1.894 billion from the bank over a three-year period starting in March 2015.
"Nobody loves corruption except those who are perpetrators of corruption," Ramaphosa said during his keynote address as ANC president to a Fundraising Gala Dinner hosted by ANC Musa Dladla Region, Empangeni, KwaZulu-Natal on Saturday.
We need to ensure that those who get involved in acts of corruption and malfeasance be held accountable for their deeds, he said
"There needs to be consequences. If people have done wrong against the people of South Africa, they must know that there would be consequences and that the consequences are going to be quite harsh against them.
"The VBS saga is the most concerning one just as must as the Steinhoff saga as well. We need to speed up the process of ensuring that those who have done wrong against our people should be made to account without delay.
"It hurts our people to see those people involved in corrupt activties just carrying on with their lives as though nothing has happened ... we must act with speed against people who do wrong things against our people," Ramaphosa said.
Ramaphosa also addressed the VBS bank heist in his column published on the ANC Today website on Saturday."The ANC is at a crossroads. We must painfully acknowledge that the decline in the ethics, values and traditions of the movement have led to a growing alienation between us and South African society," he said.
"The pernicious influences of corruption, of factionalism, of arrogant leadership and of collapse of party discipline have contributed to the ANC being perceived as a vehicle for self-enrichment. This can no longer and will no longer continue.
"Contemporary events in South Africa have thrust into the spotlight the pervasive influence of greed and self-accumulation at the expense of our people. The VBS Bank scandal is but one instance of the withering away of our society’s moral fiber, as a small minority enriched themselves with utterly no regard for the destitution and destruction they created in the lives of honest, hardworking South Africans.
"In as much as our law-enforcement authorities must act in this regard without fear or favour, so too we as the ANC must strengthen our internal accountability mechanisms, such as the Integrity Commission. For such structures to have credibility, consequence management must be both swift and tangible," he said.
Meanwhile ,the office of the secretary general of the ANC on Saturday said it had referred cases of leaders or members implicated in the VBS bank scandal to the party's Integrity Commission.
In a statement, the ANC said that in line with the ANC's 54th Conference resolutions, it has written to the chairperson of the party's Integrity Commission, George Mashamba, referring the VBS report to the Commission.
"The Integrity Commission will meet next week to consider the report and the cases of leaders and members implicated and/or accused of wrongdoing in the report," the statement said.