VBS scandal: Danny Msiza takes fight to ANC integrity commission

Danny Msiza
Danny Msiza

Limpopo ANC treasurer Danny Msiza has taken the fight to the ANC national integrity commission following the recommendation that those implicated in the VBS scandal, including him, should step aside from party positions.

Msiza wrote to ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule on Tuesday, requesting that the ANC top six intervene before the commission’s report was tabled in the national executive committee, which was scheduled to sit this weekend starting on Friday.

Msiza said that he wanted “an opportunity to make representations to the integrity commission before the NEC can consider its recommendations”.

He said that he was “baffled and deeply hurt by the subversion of due process by the integrity commission” led by George Mashamba, because he had not been invited to make representations before the recommendations were finalised and made public.

“The absolute ‘truth and only truth’ is that the integrity commission has not followed through on the decision of the national officials that we be invited to make representations before its recommendations can be forwarded to the NEC,” he said.

On that basis, said Msiza, the pronouncement by Mashamba following a meeting of the commission over the weekend was “premature and unfortunate”.

In his report Mashamba had a different version to Msiza, saying that the ANC members implicated in the VBS saga had been advised by Magashule to approach the commission.

“Having considered the matter, the national integrity commission is of the view that the reputation and credibility of the African National Congress has been seriously damaged,” he said.

To protect the integrity and reputation of the ANC, he said, the commission recommended to the national executive committee that these members should be directed to step aside from all leadership positions and all activities of the ANC.

The VBS report – titled The Great Bank Heist, by Advocate Terry Motau – detailed how at least 53 individuals and companies were involved in the looting of about R1.9 billion from VBS.

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

Limpopo ANC deputy chairperson Florence Radzilani was also implicated.

Msiza said on Tuesday in his letter to Magashule that in a previous meeting with the ANC top six the Limpopo ANC executive had reported on the matter and both him and Radzilani were given an opportunity to make representations.

However, he said, ANC national chairperson Gwede Mantashe, on behalf of the top six, subsequently “made a ruling to the effect that [those implicated] will be invited by the commission to make representations”.

Mantashe, said Msiza, had also deemed it “improper for the officials to prematurely receive our representations as the ultimate recommendations of the integrity commission having heard our side of the story, still have to serve before the national executive committee”.

“This he reasoned, fairly and logically, that it will place the national officials in an untenable conflictual situation,” he said.

Msiza said that among his inputs in that meeting had been that “Advocate Motau’s defamatory and malicious report” violated his Constitutional rights “as I have not been summoned or invited to make any representation to his forensic team”.

“The deliberate omission by Advocate Motau coupled with selective media leaks in the course of his investigation is a gross and flagrant violation of my rights and an affront to the rules of natural justice,” Msiza added.

He said “the net effect of this gross injustice is that I have been persecuted and found guilty in the court of public opinion without due process”.

“Put aptly, I have been judged in absence and presumed guilty and now the onus is on me to prove my innocence,” said Msiza, adding that he was seeking recourse against Advocate Motau in court.

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