ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule. Picture: THULI DLAMINI
ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule. Picture: THULI DLAMINI

The ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) has referred a call by its integrity commission that members implicated in the VBS Mutual Bank “heist” should step aside from all party positions and activities to its national working committee.

The governing party’s highest decision-making body met for a special meeting at the weekend, at which the NEC was expected to decide on disciplinary measures against those implicated in the hard-hitting report by advocate Terry Motau. The report found that almost R2bn was looted from the bank.

Secretary-general Ace Magashule said in a statement on Sunday that the NEC affirmed its “dismay with the impact of the VBS issues on the lives of ordinary people across the country, but especially in Limpopo and Vhembe, and restated its position that those found guilty of wrongdoing must face the wrath of the law”.

He said that the NEC acknowledged the work of the commission on ANC members implicated in the VBS matter but that it referred the report of the commission to the national working committee for “completeness and finality”.

Last week integrity commission chair George Mashamba announced its decision to call on the ANC to act against those implicated and for them to step aside from their posts. Senior Limpopo ANC officials have been implicated in the report, including its deputy chair, Florence Radzilani, and  treasurer Danny Msiza.

On Sunday, Magashule also referred to the work of the commission of inquiry into state capture, chaired by deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo.

The commission is widely seen as having placed the ANC on trial — which the party denies — with some of its senior members being implicated in allegations of state capture. Former president Jacob Zuma, his son Duduzane and the controversial Gupta family are said to be at the centre of the state capture web.

Magashule said the NEC reaffirmed its support for the Zondo commission  “to uncover the truth and prevent this blight on our history from happening again”.

He said the ANC is  co-operating with the commission and has encouraged its members to work with it. He said the ANC is  making its first submission on its meeting with several major banks. 

In September Standard Bank, Absa, FNB and Nedbank testified at the commission on what transpired when they decided to close the accounts of the Gupta family and its companies between February and December 2016.

The banks were called to separate meetings at the ANC’s Luthuli House headquarters by then secretary-general Gwede Mantashe, his deputy, Jessie Duarte, and head of the economic transformation subcommittee Enoch Godongwana.

FNB was the only bank not to attend a meeting with the ANC officials.