Molefe Seeletsa

Compiled by Molefe Seeletsa

Digital Journalist

‘Decisive action needed,’ says Mbalula on ANC members implicated in VBS scandal

A number of municipalities lost millions after illegally investing with VBS Mutual Bank.

The African National Congress (ANC) will start cracking the whip on party members implicated in the VBS Mutual Bank corruption scandal.

The ANC in Limpopo was previously accused of failing to deal with those allegedly involved in the looting of R2 billion from the bank.

This saw ANC Limpopo chairperson Stanley Mathabatha coming to the defence of his provincial leadership, saying they acted swiftly once allegations around VBS corruption surfaced.

Decisive action

The national working committee (NWC) has now resolved that the ANC’s leadership at Luthuli House will take matters into its own hands on VBS.

“On issues of corruption, in particular those related to the VBS Mutual Bank, [the NWC] has agreed that now national leadership is going to take it upon itself to address all issues pertaining to VBS along with the provincial ANC.

“We are doing so to avoid the hurdles we have been encountered. We can’t be talking about the same thing for the past five years. We need decisive action to be taken,” ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula told News24.

ALSO READ: Two Limpopo municipal bosses granted R30k bail each in VBS case

Mbalula also confirmed that the ANC’s national leadership would look at other provinces.

“It’s a way of restoring trust with our people that when the ANC says it will deal with a matter, it really does,” he said.

About 14 municipalities, in Limpopo, North West and Gauteng lost millions after illegally investing with the bank.

Mbalula’s comments comes after ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed party members during the NWC’s visit to Vhembe, in Limpopo over the weekend.

“When it comes to the issue of VBS, it was raised, there is still lingering concern about how we are going to deal with VBS, and we are going to report back to the NWC on how best we are able to address some of these concerns that are still present amongst us,” Ramaphosa told the media on Saturday.

ANC members implicated

ANC Limpopo deputy chair Florence Radzilani has been implicated in the alleged looting of billions from VBS.

Radzilani, who is the former executive mayor of the Vhembe municipality, was welcomed back into the ANC’s provincial executive committee (PEC) in 2020, since she was not criminally charged after having initially stepped aside.

READ MORE: VBS loan recipients ordered to pay back R100m, plus interest

She is currently the Limpopo MEC for Transport.

Former Limpopo ANC treasurer Danny Msiza was barred from contesting the position of secretary at Limpopo’s elective conference in June last year due to his links to the VBS saga.

Msiza is among the 14 people charged since being implicated in the looting of the now defunct bank between 2015 and March 2018.

Mathabatha mobilsation

Meanwhile, Mbalula was open to engaging with ANC regions in Limpopo, who have been calling for Mathabatha’s head.

At the ANC’s national conference last December, Mathabatha went against the ANC Limpopo’s decision to support Ramaphosa for the party’s presidency and endorsed Zweli Mkhize.

Speaking to reporters at the Bolivia Lodge in Polokwane, Mbalula seemingly defended Mathabatha, but conceded that he “misbehaved”.

RELATED: ANC Limpopo: Stan Mathabatha described as the most powerful, feared politician

“We don’t chuck a person out simply because they had different political beliefs called amabhubesi,” he said.

The ANC secretary-general said the removal of the provincial chairperson would not make sense without “tangible reasons”.

“He misbehaved because the province had a position that Ramaphosa must be president, then he became a bhubesi,” Mbalula said.

“The fundamental question should be, what is it that he is doing as a premier, as a chairperson, that is undermining the cohesion of the province?” 

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