ANC’s Danny Msiza issues legal challenge to VBS report findings against him

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Danny Msiza
Danny Msiza

Amid accusations that he personally benefited from the theft of VBS Mutual Bank funds, ANC Limpopo treasurer Danny Msiza has now turned his attention to Terry Motau, the lead investigator of the explosive report on VBS titled The Great Bank Heist.

He has labelled the report’s adverse findings against him as “scandalous” and “baseless”.

On Friday, Msiza filed an affidavit in the High Court in Pretoria, requesting that the findings be set aside.

The report details how at least 53 individuals and companies were involved in the looting of about R1.9 billion from VBS.

“In this application I seek both a declaratory order and a review and setting aside of the adverse findings/remarks and conclusions drawn by the first respondent against me in his report.

“I also seek an order that passages in the report which unfairly and unlawfully impugn my reputation and dignity, and infringe on my right to equality, be expunged from the report, together with any negative or adverse remarks/findings or conclusions the first respondent has made against me,” Msiza says in court papers.

Msiza is mentioned in the report as the “kingpin” of the “commission agent scheme”, which saw several municipalities investing money in VBS.

In his affidavit, Msiza argues that he is aware of the fact that banks pay commissions to middlemen who bring clients to them.

“For instance, Gundo Wealth Solutions was a middleman in Polokwane municipality not only for VBS, but for other big banks as well, such as First National Bank, Standard Bank, Sanlam, Nedbank, Liberty, Absa bank and Investec bank (sic), and receives commission whenever it brings a client,” he states.

“No reasonable person would conclude that I am the kingpin of the commission agent and payment of bribes as there is no explicit and/or empirical evidence that points to a single municipal official who at my point received payment from me.”

An adamant Msiza also argues that Motau has attacked his integrity as a political figure, businessman and family man, both when he referred to him as the kingpin in his report and when he found that Kabelo Matsepe, the ANC Youth League’s former Limpopo leader – who was named as having received a gratuitous payment – worked for him.

“These allegations/remarks or findings are not only false but scandalous. By making such damaging remarks and conclusions which are baseless, the first respondent intended to [achieve], and achieved, his objective of assaulting my dignity and character.

"This has impacted on my ability to perform my duties as the provincial treasurer of the ANC,” Msiza’s affidavit reads.

“As a businessman for over 18 years who has conducted himself with the utmost integrity, I have a reasonable apprehension of the prospect of financial ruin and loss of confidence by financiers and potential business partners if the adverse findings/remarks about me are not expunged from the report.”

He has asked the court to set aside the report’s findings against him on the grounds that it is unconstitutional.

Msiza goes on to say in court papers that the adverse findings against him by Motau have resulted in him suffering reputational damage.

“The findings/remarks made by the first respondent about me, based on WhatsApp communication between persons other than myself as evidence against me, amount to inadmissible hearsay and are irrational.

“I am on the record, in my capacity as the provincial treasurer and in line with my party mandate, to steer transformation of our country through meaningful and active participation of black entrepreneurs.

"To this end, I remain unapologetic, and this act of patriotism cannot be opportunistically misconstrued as support of misendeavours [sic].”

Msiza says he now fears for his safety and that of his family: “The report also caused untold distress to my family, friends and colleagues with serious reputational damage to my family.

“Further, my wife and children are being tormented and humiliated by the false and defamatory allegations about me in the report.”

Motau was not immediately available for comment.

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