VBS scandal: Cosatu branch vows to hold ANC, SACP leaders to account

2018-11-15 22:51
Stranded VBS Mutual Bank clients. (Picture: Armando Chikhudo)

Stranded VBS Mutual Bank clients. (Picture: Armando Chikhudo)

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Cosatu in Limpopo has vowed to continue to exert pressure on ANC and SACP leaders to take action against politicians and officials implicated in the VBS Mutual Bank scandal.

The trade union federation's provincial secretary, Gerald Twala, indicated on Thursday that all the municipalities that invested money in VBS would face the wrath of the working class until all the implicated politicians and senior officials at the entities are suspended or dismissed.

He said marches to the municipalities had been organised and the details would be made known soon.

Twala, who described the VBS scandal as "the most deplorable and unforgivable thieving of monies of poor people in recent history", said the 2019 general elections could not be effectively contested by the ANC while tainted senior alliance leaders remained in their positions.

"We find it problematic that the alliance can convincingly and effectively campaign for the 2019 general elections with a dark cloud hanging over some of its senior leaders," he told News24 on Thursday.

"We will be demonstrating to demand accountability from all those politicians and senior officials who took illegal and unlawful decisions in contravention of the M

FMA (Municipal Finance Management Act)."

Millions lost by municipalities

The most senior political leaders implicated in the scandal include ANC provincial bigwigs Vhembe District Municipality Mayor Florence Radzilani, who is also the party's Limpopo deputy chairperson, and Danny Msiza, who is the party's treasurer in the province.

The former mayor of Capricorn District Municipality, Gilbert Kganyago, has since been suspended as provincial secretary of the SACP for his alleged involvement in the scandal.

READ: 7 Limpopo municipalities could be placed under administration

However, Twala still maintains that VBS should have been saved.

"It would have been our view that the bank would be recapitalised and be given back to the people in order to continue serving the interest of the poor and the working class." 

The threat by the federation to put pressure on the ANC and SACP comes at a time when top officials of government and its entities had gathered for a two-day budget lekgotla in Bela-Bela where the VBS scandal dominated the discussion.

The discussion was against the backdrop of the fact that seven of the 10 municipalities that invested in VBS have lost hundreds of millions of rands following a North Gauteng High Court order to place the bank under liquidation.

Officials urged to take planning meeting seriously

The seven municipalities are now struggling financially and unable to render basic services to residents. They are to be placed under administration.

Premier Stan Mathabatha urged officials to use strategic planning meetings effectively.

This as national government plans to cut the budget allocation to provinces in the coming financial year – a move which may further exacerbate the lack of service delivery, especially at municipalities that lost their VBS investments.

"As politicians, we always warn that your strategic planning meetings should never be reduced to talk-shops. This is because resource allocation always follows the work that you would have done in those strategic planning meetings.

"If your planning is not up to scratch, it would mean that resource allocation will be misdirected," Mathabatha said.

Read more on:    sacp  |  cosatu  |  vbs  |  anc  |  corruption
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