Embattled VBS Mutual paid millions to the South African Communist Party (SACP) in return for the party’s silence about the bank’s relationship with the Guptas, according to a report in City Press.
READ MORE: SACP denies receiving millions from VBS Bank
A former VBS senior executive revealed to the paper that the bank was ordered to pay R3 million to the SACP to fund its national congress. The demand was allegedly made via WhatsApp by Tshifhiwa Matodzi, the former chairperson of the bank’s majority shareholding company, Vele Investments.
“On July 6th, he [the branch manager] got a WhatsApp message from Matodzi saying that he must make a payment of R3 million for the SACP national congress,” the executive said. “Matodzi told him that he was getting pressure from SACP leaders to have that payment done because the SACP congress was starting the following day.”
Speaking on condition of anonymity, the executive said that Vele Investments paid the money through a subsidiary company in order to hide the link between the bank and the SACP.
The report is the first time that the SACP has been revealed to have links to VBS Mutual, which it has strongly denied since the bank became embroiled in scandal over widespread looting and graft.
Matodzi said he had no comment in response to the report.