Fresh calls for re-establishment of liquidated VBS Mutual Bank
Organisations affiliated to the ANC in Limpopo have called for the re-establishment of the VBS Mutual Bank amid a fresh storm over top party officials implicated in its alleged looting.
The bank was liquidated after an order was granted by the North Gauteng High Court in 2018. It had been placed under curatorship early in 2018 for liquidity problems after municipalities, which had allegedly illegally deposited funds into the bank, withdrew their cash.
A subsequent report by advocate Terry Motau painted a picture of a grand looting of R2bn at the bank. The report implicated high-ranking political figures, including Limpopo ANC deputy chairperson Florence Radzilani and treasurer Danny Msiza.
EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu has also been implicated in the looting through payments made to his brother, Brian Shivambu.
After the revelations in Motau's report, both Msiza and Radzilani were asked to step aside by the ANC.
They were reinstated last month after an ANC national executive committee meeting, with ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule saying: “You can’t charge people because of allegations and therefore that is why we said after almost two years these comrades must come back.”
But the move has caused much protest, with the party's Limpopo secretary, Soviet Lekganyane, speaking against their reinstatement. ANC alliance partners the SACP and Cosatu had also broken ranks with the party and publicly criticised the reinstatement of the two.
In a letter to Magashule this week, a group calling itself Vhembe Fraternal Organisations called for the reinstatement of the bank.
“The VBS Bank has played a pivotal role in providing critical and essential services within our communities, especially to small business and low-income households.
“It is for this reason that we call upon leadership of the ANC to facilitate the revival of this banking facility in any form permissible,” said Godfrey Mahani, who was writing on behalf of the organisation.
The organisations include the VBS Shareholders' Forum, Contralesa, ANC MK National Council, ANC Veterans' League, Cosatu, Samwu, Pastors' Forum and unnamed community-based structures.
“In this regard, we urge all involved to ensure that prudent governance mechanisms are in place to avoid the recurrence of the shameful collapse of our bank,” said Mahani.
In the letter, which was copied to ANC officials and its national executive committee, the grouping is also demanding a meeting with the party's top six leaders, including President Cyril Ramaphosa.
They want to discuss the reinstatement of Radzilani and Msiza which they strongly oppose and have warned that it may cost the ANC votes in next year's local government elections.
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