VBS scandal: Limpopo ANC in trouble

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Luthuli House
Luthuli House
Lizeka Tandwa

Luthuli House is tightening the screws on its Limpopo officials, some of whom are deeply implicated in the VBS saga.

The party’s top six officials have called their provincial counterparts to a meeting tomorrow to seek explanations and gain understanding about their involvement in the scandal.

Deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte also announced yesterday that the party had referred the VBS report and members implicated to its integrity commission for further action.

The ANC in Limpopo was in panic mode after it emerged this week that two of its senior leaders were implicated.

Read: Full VBS 'Bank Heist' report: Who got what and what must happen

ANC Limpopo treasurer Danny Msiza and party deputy provincial chairperson and Vhembe district municipality mayor Florence Radzilani are among individuals mentioned in the damning forensic report, titled The Great Bank Heist, about massive looting at the embattled VBS Mutual bank.

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

Radzilani was said to be “crying” because she received only R300 000 for ensuring that millions deposited by the Vhembe district municipality into VBS were not withdrawn.

It is against Treasury directives for municipalities to invest money in mutual banks.

A day after the forensic report was released, the ANC’s provincial secretary, Soviet Lekganyane, was said to have called an emergency meeting of the top five officials to discuss the VBS debacle.

Read: VBS - 'Cyril knew'

Sources said Msiza and Radzilani failed to show up at the meeting, in a move seen as an indication that the top five officials were no longer pulling in the same direction.

The top five is made up of Premier Stan Mathabatha and Basikopo Makamu in addition to Radzilani, Msiza and Lekganyane.

Although ANC head of elections Fikile Mbalula has called for decisive action to be taken against ANC members implicated, City Press understands that attempts to take action against Msiza and Radzilani are likely to be thwarted because the ANC’s provincial executive committee is dominated by Msiza backers.

The VBS debacle has also created divisions within the ANC Youth League.

The provincial youth league secretary, Che Selane, leapt to the defence of Msiza and Radzilani while the ANC Youth League in the Vhembe region called for action to be taken against them.

Selane warned ANC leaders to stop targeting Msiza and Radzilani.

He said they would not be removed and would finish their terms.

Read: VBS - The NPA gets involved

“They will continue to lead the ANC. They must be supported because they are being purged by forces of darkness. Those who lost at the provincial conference are not happy that they were elected,” Selane said.

However, ANC Youth League Vhembe coordinator Fistos Mafela disagreed, saying ANC leaders who were part of the massive looting at VBS Mutual Bank had to “just do the honourable thing and resign”.

“It has been our call and it remains our clarion call that culprits must rot in jail,” Mafela said in a statement.

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