VBS scandal: DA accuses ANC Limpopo councillors of protecting those implicated
The DA in Limpopo has accused ANC councillors in the province of protecting mayors and officials implicated in the VBS Mutual Bank scandal.
The party said it was not surprised that councillors at municipalities, which deposited "illegal funds" in VBS, "blocked and voted" against DA motions calling for the removal of implicated officials during various special council meetings.
Looting to the tune of R1.8bn from VBS Mutual Bank was revealed in a damning report, compiled by advocate Terry Motau and law firm Werksmans Attorneys.
"All the DA motions which were tabled in the affected municipalities such as Makhado, Lepelle Nkumpi, Vhembe, Elias Motsoaledi and Fetakgomo-Greter Tubatse were either rejected, blocked or voted against by ANC councillors to protect the implicated senior managers and mayors who authorised the investments into the VBS bank," said Jacques Smalle, the DA's Limpopo premier candidate.
He said the ANC's "new dawn" under President Cyril Ramaphosa was just a dawn to protect corrupt officials and politicians who continued to steal from people oppressed by poverty.
"VBS bank is on the verge of being liquidated and all indications show that the already financially stripped municipalities will lose their deposits and life will only become harder for the people living under these municipalities. The failing ANC's 'new dawn' and 'thuma mina' (send me) will remain slogans and words and won't bring any change to the 1.9 million unemployed people seeking jobs in Limpopo," Smalle said.
Although some municipal managers, chief financial officers and directors and were suspended, the DA believed that these officials would not be disciplined and that they would simply be moved to other municipalities and departments to protect them, according to Smalle.
"The DA believes that removing these mayors who deposited money with VBS is the first real step in ensuring accountability and justice," he said.
Smalle also accused Premier Stan Mathabatha of failing to take firm action against those implicated "and this is compromising himself and the office of the premier".
"We will continue to fight for the people of Limpopo against an ANC-led government [which is] solely responsible for the collapse of VBS bank. In 2019, the Limpopo citizens will have a chance to emancipate themselves from the failing ANC's corruption and vote in the DA which has a good record of clean governance and will bring change that builds one South Africa for all."
The ANC in the province was not immediately available for comment.
Chairperson of the ANC's integrity commission, George Mashamba, previously said it had started looking into the bank saga.
He said the party had hoped to meet in the coming weeks with those of its members who had been implicated.