The DA’s Kevin Mileham has slammed news on Sunday that the ANC’s top leadership is considering political intervention to save the controversial VBS Mutual Bank from liquidation by making it a provincial bank to be run by the Limpopo Development Agency (Leda).
City Press reported that although President Cyril Ramaphosa was initially opposed to the idea, he later warmed to it, while ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule was supposedly very “keen” on the idea.
However, Mileham, the DA’s shadow minister of cooperative governance and traditional affairs, has said this will be little more than “a backhanded attempt by the ANC to continue looting”.
He questioned the possibility of the Limpopo provincial government being granted a banking licence at all.
“The fact remains that the forensic investigation into the VBS scandal must be completed as a matter of urgency, and should be done independently, as this is the only way to ensure accountability.”
He said the very same Limpopo government was once under national administration “but now wants a failed bank to be converted into a provincial government bank, so that comrades can continue looting”.
Limpopo had been the province worst affected by the ongoing VBS saga, with key members of the ANC’s provincial executive committee – its treasurer Danny Msiza and ANC Youth League secretary David Selan – being directly implicated.
“Any attempt to move VBS under the control of the Limpopo provincial government would basically be giving them the keys to the vault, and should not be considered.”
The DA has laid charges of fraud, racketeering and corruption against the executives of VBS Mutual Bank, municipal managers and chief financial officers of the affected municipalities and tabled motions of no confidence against the mayors of municipalities who illegally deposited funds with VBS.
“Instead of supporting efforts by Treasury to clean up our financial system following the VBS scandal, the ANC seems intent on keeping the ‘looting outlets’ open to appease its patronage networks who have no regard for the welfare of ordinary citizens.
“Residents in most municipalities that had made deposits with VBS bank experience poor service delivery on a daily basis due to chronic mismanagement. Under these circumstances, VBS must therefore not be ‘rewarded’ for aiding and abetting the misuse of public resources,” said Mileham.
He called for the alleged plan to be stopped in its tracks.
ANC Limpopo secretary Soviet Lekganyane told City Press there was no real “plan” yet. The ANC had, however, resolved that it would indeed come up with a way to assist the bank, but no decision had yet been made on whether to incorporate it into Leda.