VBS scandal: Call for Radzilani, Msiza to be reinstated, SACP faces threat

Florence Radzilani. (Phuti Raletjena)
Florence Radzilani. (Phuti Raletjena)

The ANC's Peter Mokaba region in Limpopo has broken ranks with the party on its stance regarding the VBS Mutual Bank saga and is calling for two senior leaders implicated in the scandal to be reinstated.

The party's provincial deputy chairperson Florence Radzilani and treasurer general Danny Msiza were implicated in the VBS report, titled The Great Bank Heist, which was compiled by advocate Terry Motau.

In December, the two were instructed by the party's national working committee (NWC) to step aside until the matter had been resolved.

Radzilani has since resigned as Vhembe District Municipality mayor on the instruction of the ANC in the province. Six other mayors were also forced to resign.

READ: VBS saga: Hawks investigating 7 former Limpopo mayors

The call by the party's Peter Mokaba region comes after a resolution was adopted at its regional council meeting in Polokwane at the weekend.

In an interview with News24, regional chairperson John Mpe accused the party of inconsistency in the manner it has dealt with leaders facing serious allegations.

He said the party should have implemented "due process" immediately after Radzilani and Msiza were instructed to step aside "like in the case of the national spokesperson, Pule Mabe".

Mpe was referring to the process followed when Mabe was accused of sexual harassment by an ANC colleague in December.

MORE: Pule Mabe cleared of sexual harassment charges by ANC grievance panel

"We have said as a region that the ANC has not been consistent. We've got leaders that have been mentioned in other reports and commissions of inquiry. Are we expecting those leaders to excuse themselves?" asked Mpe.

"At the most we have leaders that have been charged and are appearing in court, but they remain in their positions. If we put people aside, we must kick-start the due process because justice delayed is justice denied."

Mpe, who is also the mayor of Capricorn District Municipality, said the region's stance contradicted the decision taken by the party at a national level on the VBS scandal.

He drew comparisons between this situation and the period when governance collapsed in the province.

"There have been allegations of people who have collapsed the government of Limpopo and it was put under section 100(b) [of the Constitution]. Where are those people now? Have they been proven to be guilty and were they asked to step aside?

"Some are deputy ministers and some are in very influential political positions," he said.

MUST READ: 'Rogue elements are behind my fall,' says ex-Vhembe mayor at centre of VBS scandal

The stance has put the regional structure and Mpe on a collision course with the South African Communist Party (SACP) in the province. At an earlier press briefing, he threatened to "expose some elements" in the SACP.

He showed the media an SMS that he claimed was from a senior SACP leader asking for money from him.

The message read: "My car got stuck yesterday, but it has been towed to Polokwane Westvaal for fixing. They need R8 375 but I have R3 000. I need an intervention of R5 000."

Mpe told the media then: "We are going to really embarrass some of them."

However, SACP provincial spokesperson Machike Thobejane described the call for the reinstatement of Radzilani and Msiza as "irrelevant and irresponsible".

He said the regional structure and its chairperson had to comply with the decision of the ANC on the matter.

"This is another point where we differ. It contradicts the ANC's [intention] to ... cleanse itself. They have to comply," Thobejane said.

Limpopo ANC spokesperson Donald Selamolela said the decision on Radzilani and Msiza was taken by the party's NWC.

"Anyone with a problem on the matter must take it up with the NWC. They have to petition the NWC. This was not the decision taken by the provincial structure," Selamolela said.

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