Leaders implicated in VBS scandal should resign’, says ANC integrity commission

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JOHANNESBURG, October 29 – The African National Congress (ANC) Integrity Commission has recommended that all party members and leaders implicated in the collapse of the VBS Mutual Bank should step down from leadership positions and party activities.

The commission met over the weekend to consider the explosive SA Reserve Bank report naming some of ANC leaders as being part of the 50 individuals and entities who looted of almost R2 billion from the bank.

”It was reported to the national Integrity Commission that these members had been advised by the [ANC] secretary general’s office to approach the commission in accordance with the resolution of the 54th national conference that … every cadre accused of, or reported to be involved in, corrupt practices accounts to the Integrity Commission immediately or faces disciplinary action,” said commission chairperson George Mashamba.

”Thus far, they have not done so. Having considered the matter, the commission is of the view that the reputation and credibility of the African National Congress has been seriously damaged.

“To protect the integrity and reputation of the ANC, the commission recommends to the National Executive Committee [NEC] that these members should be directed to step aside from all leadership positions and all activities of the ANC.”

ANC-led municipalities in Limpopo, North West and Gauteng illegally deposited a combined R1.5 billion into the bank. Politicians received bribes from bank executives in exchange for agreeing to deposit millions of public money at VBS.

Implicated ANC persons in Limpopo include deputy chairwoman and Vhembe mayor Florence Radzilani, treasurer Danny Masiza and former ANC youth league leader Kabelo Matsepe.

The Sunday Times newspaper over the weekend reported that the ANC in 2016 received R2 million of the VBS loot.

The newspaper published damning Whatsapp messages between VBS executives discussing a request by the then ANC treasurer Zweli Mkhize asking the bank to donate R2 million to the ANC in exchange for helping the bank secure deposits from municipalities.

Mkhize, now minister of corporate governance and traditional affairs, has denied promising to facilitate municipal deposits for VBS.

The ”Great Bank Heist” report by advocate Terry Motau found that there was “wide-scale looting and pillaging of the monies placed on deposit at VBS”.

The nearly R2 billion money looted included clients’ life savings and deposits, millions of rand deposited by municipalities, even though the Public Finance Management Act does not permit depositing public funds into a mutual bank.

The report said the deposits were made in exchange for bribes.

The SA Reserve Bank placed VBS under curatorship in March after it was found to be facing a liquidity crisis.

– African News Agency (ANA)