DA calls political VBS rescue plans "an attempt to keep looting"

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The Democratic Alliance slammed the African National Congress for reportedly considering a “political intervention” in the storm that has consumed VBS Mutual Bank, calling such an intervention “an attempt to continue looting”.

The DA released a statement after a report from City Press on Sunday emerged that that high profile figures in the governing party were considering a last ditch effort to save the bank from liquidation. The ANC’s top six met with the party’s Limpopo provincial leadership to plan the bank’s rescue from liquidation.

Amongst other things, sources close to the City Press told the Sunday paper that the meeting discussed potentially converting VBS Mutual Bank into a provincial government bank as a way of saving it.

The DA has pursued fraud, racketeering and corruption charges against VBS Mutual Bank’s executives and has pursued motions of no confidence against mayors who it said allowed municipal finances to be deposited “illegally” into the bank.

VBS Mutual Bank’s liquidation has been overseen by the South African Reserve Bank, which is likely looking at the institution closely to ensure that policy guidelines are not sidestepped or undermined by anyone involved.

DA MP Kevin Mileham released a statement where he said such plans would only be suggested to allow more looting of state resources, further remarking that the chances of VBS Mutual Bank getting a second life as a provincial bank were questionable.

“The fact remains that the forensic investigation into the VBS scandal must be completed as a matter of urgency and should be done independently as this is the only way to ensure accountability,” said Mileham.

Mileham said any attempt to move VBS Mutual Bank to the Limpopo provincial government, would give “them the keys to the vault and should not be considered”.

“Limpopo has been worst affected by the ongoing VBS saga, with key members of the ANC provincial executive committee, Treasurer Danny Msiza and ANCYL Secretary David Selan, being directly implicated,” Mileham said.

Mileham said Residents in most municipalities that had made deposits with VBS bank experience poor service delivery on a daily basis due to chronic mismanagement and, as such, the bank deserved no special treatment.

“Instead of supporting efforts by Treasury to clean up our financial system following the VBS scandal, the ANC seems intent on keeping the ‘looting outlets’ open to appease its patronage networks who have no regard for the welfare of ordinary citizens,” he said.

Mileham concluded that if the financial health of the municipalities that had their funds with VBS Mutual was a priority, the the ANC’s plan to save the bank must never be allowed to see the light of day.

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