Money was exchanged – but Floyd did not get from VBS bank, says Malema

South Africa

If EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu did steal money from VBS Mutual Bank‚ he would be punished accordingly‚ Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema said on Tuesday.

He said this at a media briefing in Johannesburg: “The deputy president of the EFF Floyd Shivambu has taken the EFF leadership into his confidence in relation to the VBS media claims and we have no reason to doubt him‚ more so because he is not mentioned in the official Motau VBS report.”

Malema said the EFF had not been mentioned in the report‚ nor had it been accused of wrongdoing.

The report into the collapse of VBS Mutual by Terry Motau SC‚ which was released last week‚ mentioned that Shivambu’s brother‚ Brian Shivambu‚ had received R16-million in “gratuitous payments” from VBS‚ as part of a nearly R2-billion “looting” of the bank.

Brian Shivambu denied any wrongdoing. In a statement last week‚ he said his company‚ Sgameka Projects‚ had been appointed in 2017 to “provide professional consulting services to Vele Investments in their mining and insurance businesses” and had been paid for these services through a VBS account.

In the briefing‚ Malema said Floyd Shivambu had provided the leadership with his financial statements dating back to 2014.

“We cannot locate any money from VBS‚ we cannot locate money from Sigameka. There are exchanges of money from him to Brian and from Brian to him‚” Malema said.

Malema questioned why the EFF should take action against its deputy president if there was no evidence linking him to the theft.

“If Floyd had stolen money‚ he will be punished accordingly. We are not afraid of the deputy president.”

Commenting on the report‚ the party said it had expressed great disgust at those who had facilitated the collapse of the bank for selfish and self-enrichment purposes at the expense of the poor.

“VBS Mutual Bank was funded on the deposits of humble rural self-help financial associations like stokvels and burial societies. The corruption and maladministration therefore saw many of the villagers unable to even bury their dead.

“We therefore reiterate that all those who have been found to have benefitted illegally from the bank’s collapse must be criminally prosecuted‚” Malema said.

“The law must take its course and all who are implicated must fully cooperate with law enforcement institutions.”

Malema accused the enemies of EFF of seeking to bring its deputy president and the organisation‚ through a back door‚ into the VBS saga.

“We have full confidence in our deputy president Floyd Shivambu.”

Shivambu told the news conference: “I have exposed all the information I have to the leadership‚ there has never been any R10m deposited into my account.”

This was in response to a news report last week which suggested that his younger brother‚ Brian‚ had funnelled R10m through Sgameka Projects into his (Floyd’s) personal bank account.

Malema‚ meanwhile‚ said the party also rejected any move to shut down VBS Mutual Bank.

“The reported amount that has been lost to VBS is R1.9-billion. We know that the African Bank has lost close to R80-billion yet it was bailed out by government and other banks.”

-Times Live

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