Malema's cousin received almost R6m in VBS scandal - report

VBS Mutual Bank (File, Netwerk24)
VBS Mutual Bank (File, Netwerk24)

EFF leader Julius Malema's cousin has been implicated in irregular payments of almost R6m believed to emanate from the plundering of VBS Mutual Bank, the Mail & Guardian (M&G) reported on Friday.

The payments were reportedly made from Sgameka Projects – a company owned by Brian Shivambu, the brother of EFF deputy leader Floyd Shivambu – to Mahuna Investments, which is owned by Malema's cousin, Matsobane Phaleng.

M&G reports that the payments range from R1m in June last year to R500 000 in February this year.

Earlier this month, News24 reported that Brian Shivambu received R16m from the now collapsed VBS Mutual Bank.

This was revealed in a bombshell investigation report compiled by advocate Terry Motau and released by the SA Reserve Bank, which references Brian Shivambu in a list of 27 individuals and companies who received the largest amounts of money from the bank in a "looting scheme" totalling R1.8 billion.

It was later reported that Floyd Shivambu had himself received R10m linked to VBS.

He denied this, saying: "For the record, I have never received R10m from VBS or anyone in my personal account.”

At a marathon press conference on October 16, Malema backed his deputy, saying they had examined all of Shivambu's statements, and if he had another bank account somewhere else they do not know of, Shivambu knew it amounts to misconduct and he will be dealt with.

READ: Malema: Linking EFF to VBS an attempt to weaken the party

Malema said in their examination of transactions between Floyd and his brother Brian, there were no amounts that had even been close to the alleged R10m.

"Where does the 10 million come from?" Malema asked, referencing news reports, saying they should "provide proof".

M&G reported on Friday that the payments from Brian Shivambu's Sgameka Projects to Phaleng's Mahuna Investments totalled R5.9 million in nine separate transactions.

The purpose of the payments was unclear.

The paper reported that neither companies were registered for tax.

Malema told M&G that he had many cousins and was "not close" to Phaleng.

'Pay back the money'

Floyd Shivambu found himself on the receiving end of MPs' jeering in Parliament on Tuesday, when he was heckled to "pay back the money" during a debate on the VBS Mutual Bank scandal.

In 2015, Shivambu questioned when former president Jacob Zuma would "pay back the money" used for Nkandla, his homestead in KwaZulu-Natal.

READ: Insanity and madness over VBS: EFF fails to practise what it preaches

In an ironic turn of events, Shivambu found himself in the hot seat.

Shivambu stood unfazed as ANC members collectively chanted that he "pay back the money".

"Earlier when we were speaking here there were people who were singing 'pay back the money', so I was reminded that imitation is the most sincere but heartless form of flattery. So, we’re flattered as the EFF by those who learned from us," he quipped back.


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