- Controversial ANC Limpopo leader Danny Msiza claims there is an orchestrated political ploy being hatched against him.
- Msiza, together with 13 others, are accused of looting the VBS Mutual Bank between 2015 and 2018.
- The 14 suspects are expected to appear in the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on 2 August for a pre-trial hearing.
ANC Limpopo treasurer Danny Msiza claims his arrest over the looting of the VBS Mutual Bank is part of an orchestrated political ploy being waged against him.
Msiza appeared with 13 other accused in the Johannesburg Commercial Crimes Court sitting in the Palm Ridge Magistrate's Court on Friday.
The accused are charged with theft, fraud, money laundering, corruption, racketeering and contraventions of provisions in the Prevention of Organised Crime Act (Poca) and the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act (Precca).
The accused allegedly looted the now defunct bank out of more than R2 billion between 2015 and 2018.
Their matter has been transferred to the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria for a pre-trial hearing on 2 August.
The accused are all out on bail and their bail has been extended.
Last year, former VBS CFO Philip Truter pleaded guilty in a plea bargain and was sentenced to 10 years behind bars.
Msiza did not address the scores of his supporters who arrived in 10 buses from Limpopo.
He was whisked away in a white SUV, after dancing and chanting slogans outside the court where his supporters had gathered.
The supporters' co-ordinator, Rueben Madadzi, however, read out a statement prepared by Msiza to his followers.
"I still maintain that this prosecution and persecution is an orchestrated political ploy aimed at tarnishing my personal and political reputation and I am more than prepared to clear my name in order to restore my reputation and dignity. At the right time I (will) expose all the shenanigans and evil agent provocateurs who are hellbent on destroying me," the statement said.
Msiza claimed he had never worked for VBS Mutual Bank and was never afforded an opportunity by advocate Terry Motau, who probed the matter, to state his side of the story.
"... it is a travesty of justice and it is also against the universal principle of audi alterum dictum. This is a miscarriage of justice and I am combat ready to defend and confront this head on."
Msiza maintained his innocence.
"I remain a disciplined member of the ANC, and I have served this organisation, while it was not fashionable to do so. I can't be intimidated to compromise my political convictions and beliefs. Once more I am very grateful for your support and I am indeed humbled and overwhelmed by your valedictory support," Msiza's statement maintained.
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