Call to probe businessman after admitting that payments were gratuitous, 'since banks don't simply hand out money for nothing'.
Law enforcement agencies must question Economic Freedom Fighters MP Floyd Shivambu’s brother over allegations he agreed to refund VBS Mutual Bank over R4.5 million which was paid to his company apparently with no basis.
This follows an explosive expose by Daily Maverick detailing the alleged signing of a contract by Brian Shivambu, in which he admits to owing VBS holding company Vele Investments the amount, following the payments he now admits were gratuitous.
Corruption Watch CEO David Lewis says these revelations leave more questions than answers as VBS, Vele, as well as Brian now have to explain why the money was paid to him in the first place.
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“He didn’t get the money for nothing. He might not have gotten the money for the reason he said he did or Vele Investments said he got the money, but he didn’t get it for nothing,” Lewis explained.
“The part of the explanation that is left out is why did he get the money? Banks don’t hand out millions for no reason. That could well be criminal and that’s what is missing from this story.”
Lewis has called for law enforcement agencies not to wait for a prompt and take initiative in demanding answers from the involved parties.
The funds are a part of R16 million which investigators Terry Motau and law firm Werkmans revealed Shivambu received “gratuitously” in a damning report detailing a string of illegal transactions between the bank and politically connected individuals, including government officials.
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Opposition party Cope spokesman Dennis Bloem agrees with Lewis.
“The allegations that Brian Shivambu had agreed to pay back R4.5 million of the dirty looted money of the VBS is very serious and can’t be just headline news in the media. If true, the law enforcement agencies must immediately act, because that will be an admission of guilt to a crime,” said Bloem.
“We also believe that all who have benefitted from this stolen money from VBS must also be investigated and if there is sufficient evidence that they were involved in this heist then they must be charged alongside Brian Shivambu.”
Previously it was reported that around the time the bank was involved in a string of shady transactions with government affiliated accounts, VBS advanced a R2.78 million loan to Brian, most of which was intended to fund a business venture. The businessman also copped a further R1 580 154 mortgage.
In 2019 Amabhungane reported that the beleaguered businessman told the mutual bank’s liquidator Anush Rupal for a lenient payback plan of R5 000 per month for the R4.5 million debt he owed the bank.
On Monday, Daily Maverick revealed that a contract obtained by the publications stipulates an agreement signed by Brian’s company Sgameka Projects acknowledging that there was “no basis” for these particular payments made to him, and that he indeed owed the money back.
According to Daily Maverick, the acknowledgement of debt contract, signed on 23 March 2020, shows Brian admitting the amount should be paid back to Vele Investments, the holding company of VBS.
Brian’s attorneys declined to comment when approached for clarity on the repayment.