VBS: DA takes up battle

POLOKWANE – On Friday the DA started to table motions of no confidence against mayors of municipalities who illegally deposited funds with VBS Mutual Bank.

These motions are in accordance with Section 58 of the Local Government: Municipal Structures Act No. 117 of 1998.

Mileham said the DA is the only party that believes in accountability.

“Preceding this step, the DA explored all possible avenues available to hold all those implicated accountable. This included laying charges of fraud, racketeering and corruption charges against the executives of VBS Mutual Bank and the municipal managers and Chief Financial Officers at the affected municipalities.”

Although President Cyril Ramaphosa has expressed his embarrassment over the ANC being a beneficiary of this outright corruption and fraud, that simply means nothing. Neither him or Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), Zweli Mkhize, have held anyone accountable, Mileham said.

Unsuspecting VBS clients across Limpopo were left stranded in a desperate bid to draw their money for days on end when the bank was put under curatorship.

“It is unacceptable that the most vulnerable and poor had to pay for these illegal actions while the respective mayors continue to live in the lap of luxury.”

Mileham said these municipalities mostly were the worst run and financially dysfunctional municipalities and they made these deposits despite the National Treasury’s instruction not to do so and in direct contravention of the Municipal Financial Management Act (MFMA).

He said these deposits are worth approximately R1,5 billion, money which is unlikely to be recovered, and which will impact on the ability of municipalities to deliver services in areas where service delivery and municipal infrastructure is already in a horrific state.

It has been confirmed that the ANC has benefitted from the VBS scandal and that there is a link between VBS and at least one of the prominent factions within the ANC:

• VBS treasurer, Phophi Mukhodobwane, revealed that VBS would have received a R1 billion deposit from Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) if Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma won the ANC presidential race;

• Robvet, a shelf company of VBS, transferred funds to the ANC; and

• A senior ANC official in Limpopo has been accused of facilitating deals for the 15 municipalities to make deposits into the VBS Mutual Bank.

“This has been aided and abetted by the ANC government amid the escalating costs of living and unemployment crisis. Ordinary South Africans are failed when the very same people who must create job opportunities for them and ensure efficient service delivery are the ones who allow corruption to steal from the poor.”

Mileham said it was now clear that the ANC’s much-vaunted clampdown on corruption was another slogan to try to win voters over. The DA believed that the removal of these mayors “who essentially sold their municipalities to the highest bidders”, is the first real step in ensuring accountability and justice for the citizens they have robbed.

• Donald Selamolela, ANC PEC Spokesperson in Limpopo, said the ANC in Limpopo felt that VBS Bank needs to be saved.

He said this in reaction to media reports about a meeting reportedly having taken place between the Limpopo ANC and the ANC’s top six in an attempt to save the bank. According to rumours the ANC in the province would like to convert the bank into a provincial government bank, run by the Limpopo Economic Development Agency (Leda).

nelie@nmgroup.co.za

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