EFF leader Julius Malema says the acknowledgment of debt signed by Brian Shivambu to pay back R4.5 million to VBS Mutual Bank was a compromise and not an admission of guilt.
This follows a Daily Maverick report this week that Shivambu – the brother of EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu – signed a secret contract admitting to having received R4.55 million from VBS.
According to the report, the contract was signed on 23 March 2020 and was effectively an admission by Brian Shivambu that he was paid by VBS for no apparent reason.
His lawyers apparently insisted on a secrecy clause as part of the agreement.
Speaking at a media briefing in Johannesburg on Thursday, Malema said Shivambu signed the contract because he wanted to put the matter to rest in the VBS scandal.
“Once you call it a compromise, it doesn’t mean there is any guilty party. You just want to get rid of this thing,” he said.
“It doesn’t mean you admit liability but for the sake of progress, let’s do it and move on. This country is where it is because there was a compromise..
“That’s what compromise means. It doesn’t mean Brian Shivambu admits some guilt.”
The Daily Maverick reported in November 2018 how its investigative journalism unit, Scorpio, found that both Malema and Shivambu knowingly and directly benefited from the “looting” of VBS.
According to the publication, the EFF received more than R1.8 million from VBS, with the funds flowing from two sources acting as fronts.
In addition to this, Malema allegedly received R430,000 in three installments, which he is believed to have spent on a luxury Sandown property where he lived from 2012, but which has reportedly been transferred to the EFF.