I didn't partake in VBS bank's plunder - Shivambu

EFF deputy president and chief whip Floyd Shivambu has come out guns blazing against the Reserve Bank and the National Treasury in his response to his alleged involvement in the VBS Mutual Bank looting.

In a statement released on Saturday morning Shivambu, who was alleged to have received R10-million from his younger brother Brian, has denied ever receiving the money and instead has called for the establishment of an independent commission of inquiry to look into the role played by the Treasury, the Reserve Bank (SARB) and VBS on the collapse of the bank.

Shivambu's statement comes five days after Advocate Terry Motau (SC) released his report titled The Great Bank Heist" in which 53 people were implicated to have benefited from the R1.8-billion siphoned from VBS.

Among the 53 people listed in the report was the EFF leader's younger brother Brian who, according to the report, had received R16-million from the bank.

Brian has since released a statement threatening to take legal action against the authors of the report, indicating that he was defamed and was not even offered a right of reply despite the seriousness of the allegations levelled against him.

In his statement, Brian said the money received by his company, Sgameka Projects, was for service rendered and did not come from VBS but Vele Investments, a company he had rendered consulting services to.

Vele Investments, through Dyambeu Investment, own 53% of the bank.

Floyd has been under pressure to explain his role in the scandal since the report was released.

"For the record, I have never received R10-million from VBS or anyone in my personal account. Faceless sources reportedly to be from South African Reserve Bank, who have ulterior motives, have been misleading journalists and radio presenters with their malicious narratives.

"I have no dealings with VBS and attempts to link the EFF to the bank for cheap political points is a clear sign of desperation and soon enough people will see through it," reads the statement.

Shivambu also defended his party's position on the VBS saga, stating that any "attempt to link the EFF position to business dealings are disingenuous and patently weak". He said the EFF's position on the saga was that the bank must not be liquidated and should instead be recapitalised in the same way African Bank was recapitalised.

"The EFF's principled position on the VBS matter has always been that all people who were associated with wrongdoing should be held accountable and those who illegally benefited from the fraud must be criminally prosecuted immediately;

"That while the collapse of VBS was due to fraud and looting, it was also due to regulatory failure of the SARB, which fails to independently verify the capital adequacy of [the] bank, but placed undue faith in auditing firms despite warnings about the complicity of auditors in corruption;

"That the curator must protect the interests of depositors, and that the SARB should transparently manage all issues that relate to curatorship of the bank and engage on fair practise."

He said his party also exposed the appointment of Nedbank to take over the accounts of VBS depositors despite the fact that there were fewer Nedbank branches and that the bank was the most expensive.

"If our interest was on siphoning money from the dissolved board members of VBS, we would have disengaged when the bank was placed under curatorship," added Shivambu.

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