16 October 2018

South Africa: VBS Scandal - DA Wants Hawks to Investigate Floyd Shivambu

Photo: @PresidencyZA/Twitter
President Cyril Ramaphosa congratulates new finance minister Tito Mboweni after his swearing-in (file photo).

The DA wants the Hawks to investigate EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu to establish whether his brother Brian Shivambu sent him money that was the proceeds of the "VBS heist".

On Monday DA spokesperson on corruption Phumzile van Damme said the EFF deputy president must undergo a lifestyle audit and said the DA would lay a complaint with Parliament's ethics committee to probe him over his possible conflict of interest.

This complaint has since been laid.

This follows last week's revelations of large-scale looting at VBS Mutual Bank in a report titled The Great Bank Heist . The report, compiled by advocate Terry Motau and Werksmans Attorneys, was released on Wednesday.

In the report, Brian was identified as one of those alleged to have received money from the bank in a "looting scheme" involving R1.8bn. He is said to have received R16m.

Then, on Thursday, the Daily Maverick reported that of that R16m, about R10m found its way to Floyd, and R1.33m to the EFF.

Allegations 'insanity, madness'

News24 reported on Friday that Floyd hadn't declared anything in Parliament's register of members' interests since he became an MP in 2014.

On Tuesday, the EFF had a press conference where Floyd and EFF president Julius Malema denied any impropriety and suggested there was a campaign to discredit them by a "rogue unit" led by the South Africa Revenue Service.

Floyd said that allegations that he had received R10m were "insanity" and "madness".

They did, however, reveal that there were payments between the Shivambu brothers.

The EFF's answers did not convince Van Damme.

"The Economic Freedom Fighters' press conference on the VBS looting was all sound and fury and fell short on clarifying Floyd Shivambu's involvement in the VBS scandal. Instead, it was a flimsy attempt to divert attention by launching veiled attacks on the National Treasury, the South Africa Reserve Bank (SARB) and journalists on unverified allegations," she said in a statement.

"The Democratic Alliance calls on the Hawks to launch an official investigation into allegations against Shivambu on the role that he, and his brother, may have played in the VBS heist."

She said the SARB's report implicated Brian as a major beneficiary of the VBS heist to the tune of R16m.

'EFF should submit books for investigation'

"Julius Malema confirmed that as brothers, there were numerous transactions between Floyd and Brian. He could not rule out the possibility that proceeds of crime may have funded functions of the organisation. As such a full forensic investigation is necessary," she said.

"It is simply not enough for the EFF to claim they have satisfied themselves by looking at Floyd's bank statements. The Hawks must now conduct a full investigation to establish definitively whether the money that was sent from Brian to Floyd was through the proceeds of the VBS heist."

She said if they truly have nothing to hide, Shivambu and the party should immediately submit their books for forensic investigation by the Hawks.

Meanwhile, Van Damme's party leader, Mmusi Maimane, has written to Speaker of the National Assembly Baleka Mbete to allow an urgent question to President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday, when he will be answering questions in the National Assembly.

"On what date did he first become aware of the involvement of executives in corruption and looting at the VBS Mutual Bank and subsequently take action, if any, in this regard?" is the question Maimane wants to pose.

This after City Press reported on Sunday that Ramaphosa was allegedly briefed about widespread corruption at VBS early in 2017, but that he did not do anything about it.

The Presidency on Monday said it "categorically rejects" this allegation.

Source: News24

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