Citizen Reporter
3 minute read
13 Aug 2018
2:25 pm

ANC denies ‘shady plan’ to save VBS

Citizen Reporter

The party said on Monday it is trying to help the poor and working class, and isn't trying to save its own implicated members from going to jail.

FILE PICTURE: ANC national executive committee member Pule Mabe. Picture: Michel Bega

The ANC in a statement on Monday said reports of a “rescue plan” for VBS Mutual Bank were untrue.

City Press reported on Sunday that the party’s top six were looking at incorporating the bank into a provincial structure.

Opposition parties the DA and EFF described the alleged move 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.

On Tuesday, the Limpopo ANC leadership had 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.

READ MORE: DA calls ANC ‘plan’ to save VBS an attempt at more ‘looting’

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 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 party said the plan had nothing to do with rescuing the beleaguered bank, but was 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 and added 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 also downplayed the allegations yesterday.

“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.”

He was more adamant about it on Monday, though, in his statement.

“The officials of the ANC have noted with concern media reports purpoting a meeting where they are supposed to have discussed a ‘rescue plan’ for VBS Mutual Bank.

“The officials categorically reject these reports as being a fabrication totally void of any truth. On the contrary, the officials are more concerned by the loss suffered by the burial societies, the aged and stockvels, among others. This is money belonging to the most marginalised in our society and should be urgently recovered and returned to their rightful owners.

“The ANC commends government for its efforts to safeguard monies belonging to the poor and working class and calls on law enforcement agencies to act without fear or favour where there is evidence of wrongdoing, whomsoever is implicated.”

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