Advocate Terry Motau isn't too bothered at the growing list of people wanting to sue him because he believes they haven't read his explosive report on VBS Mutual Bank, titled "The Great Bank Heist".
“I'm not concerned because I have no doubt that they have not read the report. The report does not say anyone is guilty. The question is: Is there money missing from the bank? Yes. Was there money paid out? Yes. Was it paid to entities and people? Yes. Who are they? And how much was paid out?” Motau said.
On Friday, former KPMG chartered accountant Sipho Malaba announced that he was considering taking legal action against Motau, who found that he had received about R34 million in gratuitous payments.
Malaba's lawyer, Shevira Devachander, told Independent Media that a decision on which course of action to take would be finalised next week. According to Devachander, this could see an application to have the report reviewed, nullified and set aside. She said the legal team was still going through the report, adding that evidence presented by Motau’s findings did not reflect what Malaba submitted at an earlier inquiry.
Read the full report here:
Motau found that Malaba, who was the engagement partner in the audit of VBS’s finances for up to six years, was likely to have been a beneficiary of very substantial and largely unserviced facilities granted by VBS, which he never declared to his former employer, KPMG.
Malaba’s legal action against the report, compiled by Motau and Werksmans Attorneys, follows ANC Limpopo provincial treasurer Danny Msiza’s instruction to his lawyers to institute high court proceedings to review and set aside portions of the report which he maintains improperly and falsely insinuate any wrongdoing on his part. He said he expects his lawyers to file the papers in the coming weeks.
The report, on the other hand, found that Msiza intervened on numerous occasions when his political influence was required by VBS. It has been a long week for Motau, who said that all he has done is live and breathe the report. For five months, Motau and his team worked at understanding the illicit money flows from the bank.
“Once I got my hands into it, I realised that this is so, so, so big. Bigger than I contemplated, and bigger than the Reserve Bank contemplated,” he explained. “I can't believe you can have a situation where people have the audacity to do what they have done.” The investigation was at times difficult, he added. “That is why we needed people with banking expertise, IT forensics, forensic auditors to help.
“That was a difficult task. You need to follow the funds before you could determine what questions you are supposed to put to which person,” he says. “A whole lot of them came to us and protested their innocence until they realised the depth of our evidence. Then they cracked and confessed.” This week, EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu’s younger brother Brian, who scored over R16.1m in gratuitous payments, said he intended suing for the defamation of his character, his company Sjameka Projects, and the strain Motau’s report has caused his family.
While allegations swirled that Shivambu had allegedly received up to R10m from his brother, he has strongly dismissed this. EFF president Julius Malema has also dismissed suggestions that the party would institute action against Shivambu.
The ANC’s alliance partners in Limpopo are also demanding that action be taken against Msiza and Florence Radzilani, the governing party’s deputy chairperson in the province.
Radzilani is accused of soliciting a substantial bribe, which she allegedly described as a Christmas present, after she was given R300 000 when her juniors received R1.5m. But despite the knives being out for Motau, he still isn’t worried. “My work will speak for itself,” he said.