A war of words has erupted between the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and the ANC over contentious municipal investments in the controversial VBS Mutual Bank.
This after the EFF accused ANC Limpopo provincial treasurer and businessperson Danny Msiza of being the ANC big shot that facilitated investment meetings worth millions between municipalities and the bank.
Limpopo EFF provincial secretary Jossey Butane accused Msiza of laughing all the way to the bank, while thousands of Limpopo residents braved the cold winter every day to queue at VBS Bank in vain.
Butane claims Msiza believed himself to be untouchable.
“Not even the Hawks or the public protector can touch Msiza. Even Premier Stan Mathabatha cannot touch him, because Msiza is practically the premier of Limpopo.”
He claimed Msiza collected about R4 million in cash from all the deals he facilitated, knowing that the money could not be traced because there was no paper trail.
Last week the Hawks confirmed they were investigating allegations of corruption against officials from municipalities in North West, Gauteng and Limpopo.
Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said the investigations had started in earnest in the affected municipalities.
Msiza said in a statement yesterday that the allegations levelled against him were baseless and devoid of truth.
“I have no doubt about the political agenda at play – a toxic fusion of corporate interest, embedded journalists, and obsessively hateful political detractors – who have hopelessly failed to torpedo my re-election at the recent provincial conference,” he said.
The provincial ANC yesterday distanced itself from any connection with VBS or any dealings between municipalities and the bank.
The party’s provincial secretary said they were 100% behind state agencies probing those responsible for the situation.
In March this year, the National Treasury placed VBS under curatorship.
At the time, the ministry said the aim of the curatorship was ultimately to turn the bank around in contrast with liquidation. But at the time, 15 municipalities in the country, from North West, Gauteng and Limpopo, had already invested money to the tune of R1.5 billion.
The Reserve Bank this week announced that clients of VBS in stokvels, burial societies and individuals will from Friday be able to withdraw up to R100 000 at Nedbank facilities.
“We are concerned that the money deposited by the Public Investment Corporation and municipalities may not be recovered,” said DA member of parliament and shadow deputy minister of finance Alf Lees yesterday.
“This could become unbearable for the clients and the municipalities while at the same time depriving basic services to the citizens of this country.”