The DA said in a statement on Monday that it would be reporting EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu to parliament’s ethics committee over a report alleging that he had used funds looted from VBS Mutual Bank to pay for his wedding.
The MP allegedly spent more than half a million rand on a “luxurious wedding” in April 2017 using money allegedly linked back to VBS through a company called Grand Azania, which was described in the Daily Maverick as a “slush fund”.
The company allegedly received R6.16 million from VBS Mutual Bank and R8.74 million from other dubious sources.
While Shivambu denies any involvement in the company, the Daily Maverick’s investigation unearthed proof that payments for his wedding were made via the Grand Azania bank account.
The Daily Maverick’s report and DA chief whip John Steenhuisen in his statement said they could not find any declarations of these payments in Parliament’s registers for 2017 and 2018.
News24 also consulted the registers, and could not find the declarations.
Shivambu denied any wrongdoing and instead accused Daily Maverick reporter Pauli van Wyk of using state funds for her wedding.
Van Wyk is unmarried.
This is not the first time the DA has laid charges with the ethics committee against Shivambu relating to the VBS saga, as DA MP Phumzile van Damme also complained to the committee about a year ago. Shortly thereafter, she was shouted down by EFF MPs while addressing the National Assembly.
DA chief whip John Steenhuisen said on Monday: “We will be reporting Mr Shivambu to the Ethics Committee of Parliament for an investigation.
“The money reportedly looted from VBS in this manner represents the life savings and retirement nest eggs of ordinary South Africans, and especially that of thousands of the inhabitants of the Limpopo Province’s poverty-stricken rural areas. These are the very people that the EFF and Shivambu claim to represent,” said Steenhuisen.
“In the 2017 register Shivambu declares no sponsorships, property, gifts, travel, consultancies, trusts, or benefits and interests of any kind. His 2018 declarations contain only gifts of soccer tickets and cigars.”
Steenhuisen alleged that even if Shivambu had declared the money he is alleged to have received for his wedding expenses, he would still have been in breach of the code of conduct requiring members of parliament, among other things, to always act in a manner that maintains public confidence and trust in the integrity of parliament.
“It also requires that members adhere to values such as integrity, openness and honesty. Shivambu’s reported actions clearly betray the trust of thousands of voters who believed that the EFF cares about them.”
The DA said the allegations demonstrated that “the EFF do not walk the talk, and that they care very little for the ordinary people of South Africa”.
The Daily Maverick report that investigated Shivambu concluded by pointing out that Shivambu “finds himself in a Catch 22 situation” since he has denied taking money from anyone but close family friends and there was no conflict of interest, none whatsoever”.
The article, however, added: “If he agrees that Grand Azania is his, Shivambu in effect agrees to what may be big-scale corruption and money laundering. If he continues to deny any link to Grand Azania, he will be in trouble with Parliament after the company spent over a half a million rand on his wedding – a crime that may carry a two-year prison sentence.”