File picture: Siyabulela Duda/GCIS

Parliament - Members of Parliament (MP) from all sides of the political spectrum have called for swift action over the VBS Bank scandal. 

MPs are debating the VBS report titled “The Great Bank Heist” in Parliament on Tuesday. 

In the report, which was commissioned by the SA Reserve Bank (Sarb), it was found that 53 people received various illegal payments from VBS over a number of years. The payments amounted to R 1.89 billion. 

These illegal payments had placed depositors’ monies at risk. 

Advocate Terry Motau, who headed up the investigation into the bank, said in the report titled “The Great Bank Heist”, that it was unlikely that the bank could be saved.

MPs called on law enforcement authorities to take swift action against those involved in the VBS scandal. 

The DA said most of those affected by the scandal are poor people who reside in municipalities that were struggling financially. 

The party also pointed out that some of those affected are VBS employees who faced retrenchments due to the collapse of the bank. 

“The 94 VBS staff members have been retrenched. But they aren’t the guilty parties. No, the bloodsucking leeches and parasites that have fed off of the savings of some of our country’s poorest citizens must be held accountable.

“Vhembe District Municipality in Limpopo and Madibeng in North West – received disclaimed audit opinions, essentially meaning their financial documents were so poor that the Auditor-General could not make a pronouncement on them. And what action has the minister taken? None! Only one of the municipalities that lost money in the VBS heist is under administration, and most do not have a financial recovery plan in place,” said the DA’s Kevin Mileham. 

EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu meanwhile, was booed earlier by some MPs, who shouted “pay back the money”.

Brian Shivambu, Floyd's younger brother, is alleged to have received R16 million from VBS. 

The Daily Maverick reported that the EFF had received R1.3 million of the funds while Floyd Shivambu received R10 million of those funds.  

Shivambu used his speech in Parliament to deny his party’s involvement in the VBS scandal. 

He reiterated the EFF’s position that VBS must placed under curatorship and not to be allowed to fail. 
 
“There must be an attempt by the curator to save the bank and give it back to the depositors. In the same way we did with African Bank, let us put VBS Mutual Bank under curatorship, save it and hand it over to the depositors with a principle agreement that no single shareholder is going to have more than 2% control over the bank,” said Shivambu. 

Zweli Mkhize, the minister of cooperative governance and cooperation (Cogta), said the government would pursue lawsuits to try and recover the funds lost in the looting of VBS. 

The debate continues. 

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