South African Communist Party (SACP) spokesperson Alex Mashilo said the party “has not received a cent” from the VBS Mutual Bank.
Mashilo said this after Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema, addressing President Cyril Ramaphosa in parliament yesterday during his final question and answer session for the year, said his party had written to the general secretary of the SACP, Blade Nzimande, asking him if VBS paid R3 million to the Birchwood Hotel for the SACP’s conference.
“We are expecting him to answer truthfully and honestly,” Malema said.
EFF deputy leader Floyd Shivambu on Thursday shared a letter on Twitter from Nzimande, who is also the minister of transport, dated November 7, 2018, in which the SACP general secretary directed Shivambu’s enquiry about the alleged R3 million donation to the communist party to the SACP.
Shivambu tweeted: “The GS [general secretary] of the SACP Blade Nzimande did not answer the EFF question about the R3million the SACP received for their National Conference in 2017. He knows we have all the facts, and he’s diverting the attention to the SACP, which actually encouraged municipalities to work with VBS.”
The GS of the SACP Blade Nzimande did not answer the EFF Question about the R3 million the SACP received for their National Conference in 2017. He knows we have all the FACTS, and he’s diverting the attention to the SACP, which actually encouraged Municipalities to work with VBS. pic.twitter.com/cBZ5BpBJkg
— Floyd Shivambu (@FloydShivambu) November 8, 2018
Mashilo said he had checked with the party’s financial department which is responsible for its national accounts, which made it clear that the SACP had “not received a cent from VBS”.
Mashilo said it is clear that the VBS saga has brought “enormous pressure” on the EFF after the South African Reserve Bank (Sarb) commissioned report by advocate Terry Motau revealed that Shivambu’s younger brother, Brian, allegedly received R16 million from VBS.
This pressure on the EFF, Mashilo added, was compounded by media reports of how the money Brian allegedly received from the bank had moved around allegedly to persons within the red berets or with close links to the party’s leaders.
“It is clear that the EFF is trying to deflect attention away from itself and repel the pressure to go elsewhere,” Mashilo said, adding that attempts to divert the attention to the SACP will not be successful.
Mashilo reiterated that the communist party has categorically called for all individuals and persons implicated in the VBS scandal, were illegally involved, or had illegally benefitted from the bank to be held accountable to the full extent of the law.
The communist party, he said, would not hesitate to act decisively, “unlike the EFF”, against its members who, if it is proven, may have used the communist party’s name to benefit from VBS.
Mashilo called on those with evidence that the SACP had received money from the bank or its biggest shareholder Vele Investments to provide proof, reiterating that once the party is in possession of such evidence it would act decisively against implicated members “because our party is clean”.