The Limpopo ANC’s plan to rescue the controversial VBS Mutual Bank has been described as an ANC ploy to protect party bigwigs entangled in allegations of convincing municipalities to invest R1.5 billion in the bank from going into jail.
This is the view of the Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), with the latter threatening harsh action if the plan is implemented.
On Tuesday, the Limpopo ANC leadership marched to Luthuli House, where they asked the national leadership of the ANC to assist in an alleged move to convert the Limpopo VBS Mutual Bank into a Limpopo provincial bank.
Moles within the ANC in Limpopo said the party recommended that the bank should be converted into a Limpopo provincial bank run and managed by the Limpopo Economic Development Agency.
After hours of deliberations, President Cyril Ramaphosa allegedly treaded with caution, as the matter had the capacity to divide the party and bring shame to the Limpopo ANC and the provincial government.
But the move has opened a can of worms for the ANC and the Limpopo government, run by Ramaphosa’s political protege, Premier Stan Mathabatha.
The DA has since brought motions of no confidence in mayors and municipal managers who brushed aside a National Treasury ban on municipalities investing in the bank.
The DA said the plan had nothing to do with rescuing the beleaguered bank, but is meant to open doors of looting for the ANC.
“The DA believes that forensic investigations into the VBS scandal must be allowed to be completed as a matter of urgency, and should be done independently as this is the only way to ensure accountability,” DA shadow minister of cooperative governance Kevin Mileham said yesterday.
Mileham said the Limpopo provincial government could not be trusted with money, in reference to the time the provincial government was put under administration with six of the province’s departments being unable to account for R2.7 billion.
Mileham said it was laughable that the same government now wanted the failed bank to be converted into a provincial government bank.
“The Limpopo we are talking about has been worst affected by the ongoing VBS saga, with key members of the ANC provincial executive committee, treasurer Danny Msiza and ANCYL secretary David Selan being directly implicated.”
The EFF shared similar sentiments in a statement released yesterday, saying the ANC in Limpopo and the Limpopo provincial government were terrified of their members facing the law.
“That is why instead of saving VBS, the Limpopo ANC now wants to save Danny Msiza and his cronies from going straight to jail,” it read.
“He has now realised he is facing the door of prison and now he is using people like party provincial secretary Soviet Lekganyane to fight his battles.”
Msiza has since distanced himself from allegations that he recruited mayors and managers from Limpopo municipalities to invest with the bank.
ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe downplayed the allegations.
“The meeting between the Limpopo ANC and the NEC was a courtesy one. Regions and provinces visit Luthuli House on lateral matters. It had nothing to do with the VBS saga or changing the bank to a Limpopo provincial government bank.”