South Africa: VBS Scandal - Maimane Will Soon Quiz Ramaphosa On When He First Became Aware of Looting

The VBS Mutual Bank website (file photo).

DA leader Mmusi Maimane has been told that he will soon have the chance to pose his urgent question to President Cyril Ramaphosa about whether the president had prior knowledge of grand-scale looting at VBS Mutual Bank.

"I have received written confirmation from the deputy speaker of the National Assembly, Lechesa Tsenoli, indicating that my urgent oral question to the president on this matter will be added to the order paper for 6 November, in terms of Rule 141 of the National Assembly rules," Maimane said in a statement on Friday.

"President Ramaphosa cannot duck and dive any longer. When he appears in Parliament to answer oral questions on 6 November, he will need to provide South Africa with a clear answer to the following question: On what date did he first become aware of the involvement of executives in corruption and looting at VBS [Mutual] Bank, and [on] what date did he subsequently act in this regard?"

Last Wednesday, the SA Reserve Bank (SARB) released the report, titled The Great Bank Heist , compiled by advocate Terry Motau and Werksmans Attorneys. It detailed large-scale looting of R1.8bn, which brought the bank to its knees.

City Press reported on Sunday that Ramaphosa was allegedly briefed about widespread corruption at VBS early in 2017, but did not do anything about it. Then, on Monday, the Presidency said it "categorically rejects" the allegation.

But this didn't satisfy Maimane.

"Allegations pointing to President Cyril Ramaphosa's prior knowledge of the large-scale theft and looting at VBS bank - as far back as early 2017 while still deputy president of South Africa - cannot remain untested," he said.

"Almost R2bn was stolen from the accounts of hundreds of poor, vulnerable and elderly people who bank with VBS. This act of corruption was committed by rich politicians, politically connected businesspersons, and their associates - many of whom are either elected ANC officials or have strong links to the ruling party.

"The president owes South Africa a full, honest account of his knowledge, and what action he subsequently took."

Source: News24

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