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By Citizen Reporter


Brian Shivambu plans to sue Reserve Bank for defamation

A statement from the EFF deputy leader's brother claims he was never asked to give his side and denies he received any money from VBS for any untoward reason.

In a statement on Thursday, EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu’s younger brother Brian denies he has anything to hide when it comes to the R16 million a Reserve Bank investigation found he received improperly from VBS Mutual Bank.

Floyd Shivambu retweeted the statement on Thursday, thus confirming its authenticity.


Brian Shivambu’s name was yesterday included in a list of more than 50 people that the Reserve Bank wants criminally charged and investigated.

He claims in the statement that his company, Sgameka Projects, merely provided “professional consulting services to Vele Investments in 2017”, but did not receive money from the bank.

He added that Vele had asked him to open an account with VBS, and that “receiving money through VBS account does not mean that VBS paid me money”.

“Sgameka Projects has since 2017 offered the services to Vele Investments and received the monthly payments as stipulated in the contract. My company does not have any business relationship with VBS Mutual bank.”

The younger Shivambu complained that he had never been contacted by the VBS Mutual Bank investigators to offer his side of the story.

“It is discomforting and unlawful to pass judgment on anyone without granting them an opportunity to state my case.”

He said he was previously part of the EFF Students’ Command as an administrator “after I had been a Volunteer at the Head Office since 2013. I left the employment of the EFF in June 2017 to focus on my business interests.”

He said his brother Floyd was “not the owner of my businesses. I committed to him that I will give him support, which I have done where possible.”

He denied that he had done anything untoward “in influencing depositors into VBS, and nowhere does it state or insinuate any role I played in the business of VBS. I have never met any municipality of potential depositor to encourage them to deposit money with VBS, because that is not what I do.”

He said he was willing to cooperate with law enforcement “to put this matter to rest”.

However, he said he felt he had been defamed.

“I believe that anyone who is found guilty with wrongdoing on the VBS case must be held accountable and monies that were illegally siphoned should be paid back. Equally I intend to legally pursue the owners of the VBS Report for defamation of my character and that of my company as well as for the strain this report has caused to my family. Pursuing allegations levelled against me in South Africa’s law does not permit anyone to put a juristic or natural person into trial, and convict them without granting them the right to state their version.”

In a statement on Wednesday, the South African Reserve Bank said: “The evidence presented in the report is not a reflection of either the guilt or innocence of any party as not all parties have been given an opportunity to respond to the evidence.”


Earlier on Thursday, an investigative report published by the Daily Maverick revealed the alleged involvement at the very top of the EFF in benefiting from some of the looting to the tune of nearly R2 billion from VBS Mutual Bank. As much as R10 million of this money may have been given to Shivambu by his younger brother, while R1.3 million went into the party’s bank account.

The money to Shivambu was allegedly funnelled to him through Sgameka Projects.

Brian Shivambu received R16,148,569 in “gratuitous payments” from VBS, according to the Reserve Bank’s investigation.

Advocate Terry Motau was appointed by the bank to probe the collapse of VBS after it was placed under curatorship.

Motau, assisted by Werksman Attorneys, found that there was “wide-scale looting and pillaging of the monies placed on deposit at VBS”. The monies were clients’ life savings and deposits, including millions of rands deposited by municipalities.

The report, titled “The Great Bank Heist” showed that at least 50 people “gratuitously” received R1.894 billion from the bank over a three-year period starting in March 2015.

They included top management at the bank’s major shareholder Vele Investments, its associates who cashed in more than R936 million. Others also included bank executives and Limpopo politicians.

VBS chairman Tshifhiwa Matodzi got R325m, CEO Andile Ramavhunga got R28 million, the Free State Development Corporation (R104 million) former ANCYL Limpopo leader Kabelo Matsepe (R35 million), former KPMG partner Sipho Malaba (R33 million) Venda king Mphephu Ramabulana (R17 million) and Shivambu (R16 million).

The elaborate scheme involved VBS directors creating large fictitious deposits in favour of Vele, which was put forward as the bank’s biggest shareholder, and its associates. They then went on what Motau terms “a massive spending spree at the expense of VBS’s depositors”.

Motau said that this could have been detected much earlier if not for the fraudulent misrepresentations in monthly regulatory returns that VBS submitted to the Registrar of Banks, and in its audited financial statements for the 2016/17 financial year.

Motau called for the prosecution of the illegal beneficiaries and that urgent steps must be taken to wind up the failed bank.

“It seems clear to me that there is no prospect of saving VBS. It is corrupt and rotten to the core. Indeed, there is hardly a person in its employ in any position of authority who is not in some way or other complicit.”

(Additional reporting ANA. Compiled by Charles Cilliers)

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