Malema ready to slug it out with VBS accusers

EFF leader Julius Malema says the VBS looting accusations are not new but a dirty campaign by detractors to link him to corruption to tarnish his image.
EFF leader Julius Malema says the VBS looting accusations are not new but a dirty campaign by detractors to link him to corruption to tarnish his image.
Image: Veli Nhlapo

EFF leader Julius Malema says he is not bothered by the latest reports linking him to a slush fund that was allegedly used to siphon money from VBS Mutual Bank.

The Sunday Times yesterday reported that a R3,2m "fraudulent" home loan application to the defunct bank by a company owned by Malema's cousin, Phumi "Jimmy" Matlebyane, exposed how money from VBS flowed to the EFF or its leader.

According to the report, Matlebyane's application was allegedly amended by a VBS Bank employee to reflect that he earned a monthly income of R155,000 instead of his initially listed R5,000.

Malema told Sowetan yesterday that attempts to link him to the VBS looting was a "political war" waged against him and his associates.

"It has been a desperation to link me and my family to VBS for two years now and there's nothing that bothers me about that," Malema said.

"It's a political war against me and they can bring it on."

Malema said his cousin's company was doing a lot of business, which included events management and catering, among others, and there was no proof that it only received money from VBS.

Santaclara Trading, owned by Matlebyane, is reported to have allegedly received millions in deposits from Malema's lawyer, other companies doing work for the government including LTE Consulting and allegedly the EFF itself. Malema's lawyer is said to have deposited R300,000, while LTE is said to have deposited R200,000 into the company's account.

Grand Azania, the company owned by EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu, paid R500,000 into Santaclara's account.

Grand Azania was directly linked to Sgameka Projects, which belongs to his brother Brian Shivambu, that received R16m from VBS Bank.

Referring to LTE depositing money to Santaclara, Malema asked: "What is wrong with black company exchanging money? What is corrupt about that except you wanting to humiliate people?"

He further accused forensic investigators of "not investigating the real money" stolen from VBS Bank and going after people who are "mentioned in passing".

"It's a political onslaught against opponents and I'm going to offend a lot of people."

He said his cousin's company was a legitimate business that operated in hospitality and events management.

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