Malema on VBS loot: 'I have never benefitted a single cent from VBS'

  • EFF leader Julius Malema has once again denied any involvement in the VBS saga.
  • Malema was addressing journalists at the party's headquarters on Thursday.
  • He was adamant that he never, in any way, benefitted from VBS.

The EFF's leader, Julius Malema, has once again denied any links to the collapsed VBS Mutual Bank - this time, distancing both himself and his brothers from the scandal.

He held a question and answer session with journalists at the party's headquarters on Thursday, following numerous arrests by the Hawks in connection with the looting of the bank.

Last week, the specialised policing unit, the Hawks, and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) announced they had arrested eight people linked to the looting of the bank.

It followed a damning report by advocate Terry Motau, called the "Great Heist", which probed the theft of almost R2 billion from investors, mostly from Limpopo and its municipalities.

Eight people, including Tshifhwa Matodzi, its former chairperson, were taken into custody. 

READ MORE| Hawks arrest VBS 'kingpin' Tshifhiwa Matodzi and other directors in early morning raid

On Thursday, another individual charged in connection with the scandal was released on a warning, pending his next court appearance.

Since the Motau report, Malema, his deputy Floyd Shivambu and the EFF have been linked to benefitting from money received, allegedly through corrupt means via businesses of Shivambu's brother, Brian, and family members of Malema. 

"I've never benefitted any cent from VBS, and why would I benefit from VBS, in exchange for what?" asked Malema.

He also denied having played a role in influencing any municipalities to invest in the bank, and said if one were to come forward to show that he did, he would resign as leader of the EFF "without hesitation".

Malema, in addressing Daily Maverick journalist Pauli van Wyk's story linking him to the Mahuna Investments bank account, said his brother goes everywhere with him.

Mahuna Investments belongs to Malema's cousin, Matsobane Phaleng. According to the report, his company received millions from Sgameka Projects, which is owned by Shivambu's brother, Brian, and was implicated in the report.

In the article, the journalist tracked the movements of the Mahuna bank account, alongside Malema's own movements, as per his social media updates, but Malema claims there is nothing untoward there, as they are always together.

"My brother is always where I am; he is here now, the card might be used somewhere now," said the EFF leader.

He further rubbished claims that he drove back to Johannesburg after attending the Durban July event, saying there was no way he could have stopped to buy Nandos chicken as he flew back. He dared journalists to find the video footage from hotels he was alleged to have stayed at during that period.

In defending Phaleng and his other relatives, he said they had always been involved in business, and knew wrong from right.

"From where I sit, my brothers have done nothing wrong and, where they have done anything wrong, they have always been held accountable," he said.

Malema said they had often been to inquiries by SARS, but insisted their business had nothing to do with him.

"They are old enough to know that if they do not comply with the laws of South Africa, they must know they will be arrested. They will be sent to jail and there is nothing I can do about that," said Malema.

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