14 November 2018

South Africa: Who Paid SACP's R3 Million Venue for Its National Congress?

While the SACP has denied claims that Vele Investments paid R3m to the Birchwood Hotel for the party's national congress last year, it says it can't say how it paid for the venue just yet as it is still considering its legal options. Vele Investments was a major shareholder in VBS Mutual bank.

Asked by News24 about how the payment had been made, if not by Vele, the communist party said it would respond "once a final decision has been made after considering legal options".

"The party will make an announcement at an appropriate time in an appropriate manner," said spokesperson Alex Mashilo.

Mashilo distanced the party from VBS and said the SACP still stood by its initial statement on advocate Terry Motau's "The Great Bank Heist" report that all those who are found to have been complicit, or directly looted the mutual bank, should be held to account.

"We have no links to VBS, and those who do have illegal ties with the bank, must face the full might of the law," said Mashilo.

The SACP suspended its Limpopo secretary Gilbert Kganyago for allegedly lying about having not known that the Capricorn District Municipality, which he was the mayor of, deposited money into VBS. It was later revealed that Kganyago was part of meetings at which decisions to invest into VBS were taken.

Legal report expected on Friday

The High Court in Pretoria ruled on Tuesday that the mutual bank be liquidated, and that a liquidator be appointed to wind up the business through the use of legal mechanisms to recover funds from recipients where transactions were found to be void or impeachable.

A former senior executive of the scandal-ridden VBS Mutual Bank revealed to City Press that a branch manager was ordered to make a R3m payment to fund the SACP's congress last year allegedly in exchange for the party's silence on the bank's relationship with the controversial Gupta family.

"If a person makes [an] allegation, the onus of proof in terms of the rule of democratic law lies or rests with that person," said Mashilo.

The SACP's top brass has directed that a final legal opinion into the allegations be made available by the end of this week. The party says its political bureau is meeting on Friday and should receive a detailed legal report.

Source: News24

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