Mayors of municipalities that invested with VBS must also resign, says ANC Youth League

VBS Mutual Bank in Thohoyandou, Limpopo, which has been milked dry by dodgy business people.
VBS Mutual Bank in Thohoyandou, Limpopo, which has been milked dry by dodgy business people.
Image: Antonio Muchave

The ANC Youth League (ANCYL) in Limpopo yesterday hailed the recommendations of the ruling party's National Integrity Commission (NIC) over members implicated in the VBS saga.

Chaired by ANC stalwart George Mashamba, the commission ruled that members of the organisation's provincial leadership implicated in the looting of funds from the VBS Mutual Bank should be directed by the national executive committee (NEC) to step aside from all leadership positions and activities of the ANC.

Two members of the provincial leadership have been fingered in the scandal, where millions of rand from the bank ended up in the pockets of individuals. Provincial deputy chairperson Florence Radzilani, who is also Vhembe district municipality's executive mayor, and Danny Msiza, who is the treasurer of the party in the province, were implicated in the report released by advocate Terry Motau early this month, titled “The Great Bank Heist”.

In a statement released by the NIC yesterday, Mashamba said the decision was taken with a view to protect the integrity and reputation of the ANC. “Having considered the matter, the National Integrity Commission is of the view that the reputation and credibility of the ANC has been seriously damaged,” read the statement in part.

Acting ANCYL provincial secretary Matome Moremi said they welcomed the decision. “The decision of the NIC is consistent with the call made by the ANCYL in the province that the two leaders implicated in the VBS report must step aside,” said Moremi yesterday.

He further urged the NEC to give instructions to the organisation's provincial leadership to tell mayors of municipalities that had invested into VBS to resign. “The NEC must give the ANC in Limpopo clear instructions to tell mayors of municipalities that had made the illegal investments into the VBS Mutual Bank to resign,” he said.

In the past few weeks, municipal managers and chief financial officers (CFOs) of various municipalities that were found to have invested into the VBS have had actions taken against them. But Moremi said mayors must also face the music. “This is informed by the belief that those municipal managers and CFOs were implementing instructions of the mayors. The mayors in those municipalities were the ones who had attended the meetings where decisions to make the illegal investments into VBS were taken,” he added.

He said by resigning from their positions as mayors, the ANC would redeem its image and work towards clean governance “and ensure a convincing victory in next year's general elections”.

ANC provincial spokesperson Donald Selamolela said they would await a directive from the NEC to tell them what to do. “At the same time, we are awaiting those deployees of the ANC in various municipalities in the province to come and give us a report in terms of what actions they have taken on the issue of the VBS scandal,” Selamolela said.

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