Sacked VBS-linked Limpopo mayors to be charged

Former Vhembe district mayor Florence Radzilani.
Former Vhembe district mayor Florence Radzilani.
Image: ANTONIO MUCHAVE

Limpopo ANC deputy chairperson Florence Radzilani jumped before she could be pushed by resigning as the mayor of the Vhembe district yesterday.

Radzilani was one of the seven mayors who the party's provincial executive committee had decided to remove from their positions for investing millions of public funds in the collapsed VBS Mutual Bank.

But when the PEC's resolution was about to be communicated to Radzilani, she told secretary Soviet Lekganyane that she was resigning with immediate effect.

She sent a letter directed to both Lekganyane and ANC provincial chairperson Stan Mathabatha.

"I would like to reiterate the fact that I have consistently communicated that I was not involved in the VBS municipal investment both officially and privately," read the letter.

Radzilani was implicated in advocate Terry Motau's forensic report into the collapse of VBS.

She allegedly demanded R300 000 as a "Christmas present" after her municipality invested R300m in the bank.

She has, however, denied the allegations.

Limpopo co-operative governance and traditional affairs spokesperson Motupa Selomo said Radzilani would remain an ordinary councillor in the municipality with benefits for councillors.

The ANC and the provincial government announced the outcomes of their respective meetings on the VBS scandal during a joint media briefing.

Lekganyane said yesterday that the PEC resolved to release seven mayors - those of Vhembe, Makhado, Collins Chabane, Fetakgomo-Tubatse, Lepelle-Nkumpi, Ephraim Mogale and Greater Giyani - who invested millions of public funds in VBS.

Ephraim Mogale mayor Bela Kupa confirmed yesterday that she had also resigned.

"I got a call from the ANC provincial secretary informing me about the decision. I have complied with the decision and resigned," she said.

Kupa's municipality invested R82m in the bank.

Collins Chabane local municipality mayor Joyce Bila told Sowetan that she was still the mayor because no communication was made to her regarding the decision.

"The ANC had not approached me or told me about my removal. As far as I know, I'm still the mayor," she said. Collins Chabane had invested R120m of public funds in VBS.

Limpopo premier Chupu Mathabatha, right, with ANC provincial secretary Soviet Lekganyane.
Limpopo premier Chupu Mathabatha, right, with ANC provincial secretary Soviet Lekganyane.
Image: Antonio Muchave

Lekganyane said after the embarrassing administration failures, there were discussions under way in the party to review the cadre deployment policy.

Mathabatha said a forensic report recommended that disciplinary action be considered against municipal managers.

"All municipal [managers] and politicians acknowledged knowing the financial management act but failed to follow it," he said.

The premier said they will be laying criminal charges and civil claims against those involved in the investments.

 

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