Best of City Press: VBS Bank loans bonanza, Supra's replacement candidates, and another Gupta-linked cash scandal

2018-04-29 21:02
North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo spotted after President Cyril Ramaphosa briefed media on the outcome of an ANC North West meeting. (Iavan Pijoos/News24)

North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo spotted after President Cyril Ramaphosa briefed media on the outcome of an ANC North West meeting. (Iavan Pijoos/News24)

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In case you missed it, these are some of the most popular stories from City Press on Sunday, 29 April.

VBS Bank 'related-party' loans bonanza

The crisis-ridden VBS Mutual Bank lent out large sums of money to its own directors, municipal officials and the SA Municipal Workers' Union (Samwu) to finance a building the union already owned.

At least five of VBS’s senior executives received mortgage loans running into millions of rands between 2015 and last year.

The October 2017 mortgage deal worth R11.8m, which VBS signed for the Samwu headquarters in Johannesburg, is now shrouded in mystery.


Premier candidates: Who will replace Supra?

The ANC might not have made a final decision on the future of North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo, but this has not stopped informal lobbying for his position, with five names already doing the rounds as possible successors.

A decision on Mahumapelo is expected after a meeting of the national executive committee, due in May.

City Press has learnt that while he is resisting pressure to quit, Mahumapelo has been trying to influence the choice of his successor. A source close to the ANC in the province said Mahumapelo held a meeting with two female MECs and a district municipality mayor, and discussed how one of them should be well placed to be considered for premier on his exit.


Guptas linked to R100m VAT scam

The controversial Guptas have been implicated in a R100m VAT scandal which has been running for years – but it appears the state will not take any action against them.

Nine people from up-market neighbourhoods in Centurion and Durban have been arrested for allegedly defrauding the SA Revenue Service (Sars) out of millions using false VAT claims.

According to court papers filed in the Pretoria High Court, the false claims amount to about R100m, of which about R30.5m was paid out.
Oakbay Investments, the Gupta family’s parent company, is one of those entities. But Oakbay is not an accused in the matter now before court.


Mondli Makhanya: Can Cosatu get its bite back?

Labour federation Cosatu was once the behemoth of the labour movement and a booming voice on the sociopolitical scene.

In the 1980s, Cosatu could literally bring the economy to a standstill when it organised a general strike. Factory machines would fall silent, mines would stop, central business districts would be deserted and, in suburbia, the kitchen sinks would overflow with unwashed dishes.

Because it was one of the best-organised forces – with branches in every workplace and a tightly regimented structure – Cosatu became the backbone of the mass democratic movement.


Simnikiwe Xabanisa: IAAF regulations affect us as much as much as Semenya

In 2009, when I moonlighted as a sports presenter on radio, a colleague and I conducted a telephonic interview with a teenage athlete named Caster Semenya, who had carried all before her at the African Junior Championships by winning the 800m and 1 500m double.

Having been told Semenya was a young woman, we were thrown by the fact that she sounded more like a man and had the diction of one, too.

With radio often being fertile ground for puerile behaviour, we spent the rest of the interview exchanging knowing looks and stifling giggles.

My suspicion is that our reaction in studio that day was pretty much the same way most South Africans did when they first saw Semenya, whose only fault was reportedly being born with hyperandrogenism, which supposedly gives her more testosterone than her fellow female competitors.


Read more on:    iaaf  |  cosatu  |  anc  |  sars  |  hawks  |  vbs mutual bank  |  caster semenya  |  gupta family  |  supra mahumapelo  |  crime  |  corruption  |  fraud

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