At the centre of it: VBS Mutual Bank in Thohoyandou, Limpopo. Picture: ANTONIO MUCHAVE/SOWETAN
At the centre of it: VBS Mutual Bank in Thohoyandou, Limpopo. Picture: ANTONIO MUCHAVE/SOWETAN

Opposition parties have called on new finance minister Tito Mboweni and President Cyril Ramaphosa to take swift action against those implicated in a forensic report on the failure of VBS Mutual Bank.

Former president Jacob Zuma, the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) and Floyd Shivambu’s brother have been implicated in the report, which was released on Wednesday.

The report, by advocate Terry Motau and Werksmans Attorneys, describes how the bank heist occurred and lists a number of former VBS executives and its largest shareholder, Vele Investments, as perpetrators and beneficiaries of the crime.

Included in the 146-page document is testimony from VBS CEO Andile Ramavhunga, who was asked whether a commission of R1.5m had been paid to a group of SA Transport and Allied Workers Union officials to solicit a R1bn deposit from Prasa.

Ramavhunga replies: “It could have been … I know for a fact that we were asked to put money into the Dudu Myeni Foundation.”

He said the request for the donation surfaced at the same time they were soliciting the deposit from Prasa.

The investigators concluded that Ramavhunga meant to refer to the Jacob G Zuma Foundation, of which Myeni is the chair.

One of the largest benefactors of VBS’s largesse appears to have been Brian Shivambu, the brother of EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu.

Read the full report:

Brian Shivambu received R16.1m from "gratuitous payments" flowing from VBS Mutual Bank. At the time of writing, the EFF and Floyd Shivambu had not responded to requests for comment.

DA co-operative governance spokesperson Kevin Mileham said the report implied there were more people involved than originally thought, including politicians and officials.

“The DA … calls on the newly appointed minister of finance, Tito Mboweni, to move swiftly with authorities to take action against all those implicated, especially the politicians and those close to politicians, such as Brian Shivambu, who is implicated in the scandal.

“It is no surprise why the EFF has been vocal about defending the corruption that took place at VBS, which saw many South Africans in danger of losing their hard-earned money and municipal funds wasted,” he said.

UDM president Bantu Holomisa called on Ramaphosa to appoint a task team to ensure those implicated were held responsible, particularly those employed by the Public Investment Corporation (PIC).

“The PIC seems to be sinking deeper and deeper in the quagmire of corruption," he said. "The UDM wants to see these people charged, and the Asset Forfeiture Unit must not dilly-dally, and get to work.”

In March, the EFF lambasted the Treasury for putting VBS under curatorship and said the bank was being victimised because it had given Zuma a loan.

The EFF has recently backed dubious characters such as suspended SA Revenue Service boss Tom Moyane, controversial Transnet CEO Siyabonga Gama and the embattled leadership of VBS at a time when the party was calling for the head of former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene in relation to his state capture inquiry testimony.

 

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