VBS-linked officials’ reinstatement causing friction in ANC

Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi , on behalf of President Cyril Ramaphosa addressing the media launch of the Presidential Health Summit 2018 Report at Tuynhuys in Cape Town. The Presidential Health Summit 2018 Report provides an overview of the solutions tabled by healthcare stakeholders recognising that they must be put into a practical, prioritised and realistic action plan with immediate, short term and medium-term interventions to achieve universal healthcare coverage for all citizens. Cape Town, 12/02/2019. Jairus Mmutle/GCIS

Limpopo ANC structures have endorsed the decision by the national leadership of the ANC to reinstate Florence Radzilani and Danny Msiza in their positions.

But ANC national executive committee (NEC) member, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi and Limpopo ANC provincial secretary Soviet Lekganyane are not impressed. The two have branded the move to reinstate the two officials back into their positions as hasty and ill-informed.

Radzilani and Msiza were asked to step aside as deputy provincial chairperson and treasurer respectively by the ANC NEC two years ago after they were implicated in the alleged looting of the VBS Mutual Bank.

In June this year, about seven people were arrested by the Hawks and charged with 47 charges relating to the looting of the bank. They were each granted R100,000 bail. Those arrested included former VBS Bank chair Tshifhiwa Matodzi, the bank’s former chief executive Andile Ramavhunga, former treasurer Phophi Mukhodobwane. But Radzilani and Msiza were not charged or arrested.

Also read: ANC faction allegedly plotting to oust Mathabatha

In light of this, the NEC decided to reinstate them back into their positions, claiming there has been no tangible evidence to link them with the looting of the bank. At the time, the NEC undertook to engage party structures and stakeholders on the matter before they were allowed to reoccupy their offices at Frans Mohlala House in Polokwane.

The party has since confirmed it has concluded its engagements and the matter was referred to the alliance political council, which included the South African Communist Party and the trade union federation Cosatu for further engagements.

“I do not support the move to reinstate the two comrades. I have made it clear during NEC meetings that I do not support the decision. The VBS matter must be treated with the seriousness it deserves. It is only fair for the two to be given a chance to clear their names before such a decision gets the nod,” said Motsoaledi.

Lekganyane also said the decision to reinstate Msiza and Radzilani was too soon.

“What type of leadership will be happy when people suffered because of VBS. The truth needs to be told,” said Lekganyane.

Meanwhile, Motsoaledi, who is also home affairs minister, was also accused by an ANC branch in the Vhembe region of having led a clandestine meeting with Lekganyane to topple Limpopo Premier Stan Mathabatha as ANC provincial chairperson and premier before the end of his term.

“It is untrue to suggest that I was part of that meeting because the last time I went to Marble Hall was three years ago,” he said.

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