The Daily Maverick on Thursday reported that Shivambu received as much as R10 million was funnelled into his personal bank account, allegedly received from his brother Brian.
Brian was implicated in Advocate Terry Motau’s report into the collapse of the bank, entitled The Great Bank Heist, as having received R16 million in gratuitous funds from the bank. Nearly R2 billion in total was stolen from the bank.
The publication also alleges that the EFF received a direct deposit of R1,3 million from the bank into the EFF’s bank account.
The revelations have raised questions about whether this was the reason why the party was such a fierce defender of the bank, calling for the black-owned bank to be saved at all costs.
The EFF has remained mum on the allegations, but Shivambu’s brother Brian released a statement on Thursday denying ever having received money from VBS.
“My company, Sgameka Projects was appointed to provide professional consulting services to Vele Investments in 2017. My company did not have any business relationship nor did it receive money from VBS Mutual Bank. The contract entered between Vele Investments and Sgameka Projects does not state anywhere that my company will receive payments from VBS Mutual Bank,” he said.
“Vele Investments told me that since they bank with VBS, our company and myself as its director should open a bank account with VBS Mutual Bank for ease of payments. Receiving money through a VBS account does not mean that VBS paid me money.”
Brian also stated his intention to pursue legal action against “the owners of the VBS report for defamation of my character and that of my company, as well as for the strain the report has caused to my family”.
On Wednesday night, the EFF released a subdued statement reacting to the damning report that identified over 50 people involved in the widespread looting of the bank.
The Daily Maverick also reports that it’s possible that the EFF received more money from VBS “through other fronts”.
The Red Berets called for the law to take its course and that those responsible be held accountable.
“The EFF reiterates its position that all those who are responsible and illegally benefited from the fraud must be criminally prosecuted immediately. As we previously indicated, we also reiterate that they must be black listed. Above all, the law enforcement authorities must ensure that all the monies that can be recovered is paid back in full,including attaching properties from the individuals who benefited,” the party said in a statement.
The fact that the bank cannot be saved was of great concern, said the EFF.
“Shutting down the bank will not help efforts to increase black participation in the financial sector. A recovery plan that can save the bank or support other black-owned prospective black license applicants to service people in rural areas must be devised.”
Motau was appointed by the SA Reserve Bank to probe the collapse of the mutual bank that was placed under curatorship.
Motau, assisted by Werksman Attorneys, found that there was “wide scale looting and pillaging of the monies placed on deposit at VBS”. The monies were clients’ life savings and deposits, including millions of rands deposited by municipalities.
The report showed that at least 50 people “gratuitously” received R1.894 billion from the bank over a three-year period starting in March 2015.
They included top management at the bank’s major shareholder Vele Investments, its associates who cashed in more than R936 million. Others also included bank executives and Limpopo politicians.
VBS Chairman Tshifhiwa Matodzi got R325 million, CEO Andile Ramavhunga got R28 million, the Free State Development Corporation (R104 million) former ANCYL Limpopo leader Kabelo Matsepe (R35 million), former KPMG partner Sipho Malaba (R33 million) Venda king Mphephu Ramabulana (R17 million) and Shivambu (R16 million).
The elaborate scheme involved VBS directors creating large fictitious deposits in favour of Vele, which was put forward as the bank’s biggest shareholder, and its associates. They then went on what Motau terms “a massive spending spree at the expense of VBS’ depositors”.
Motau said that this could have been detected much earlier if not for the fraudulent misrepresentations in monthly regulatory returns that VBS submitted to the Registrar of Banks, and in its audited financial statements for the 2016-17 financial year.
– With additional reporting by African News Agency