Shivambu refuses to answer questions over his brother’s VBS payments

10 October 2018 - 22:43 By Karyn Maughan
EFF second-in-command, Floyd Shivambu, has refused to comment on reports that his brother pocketed in excess of R16m from VBS Mutual Bank.
EFF second-in-command, Floyd Shivambu, has refused to comment on reports that his brother pocketed in excess of R16m from VBS Mutual Bank.
Image: Financial Mail

EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu has refused to answer any questions about his brother’s alleged involvement in the R2bn looting of VBS Bank – an institution that he and his party have repeatedly defended.

The EFF released a statement late Wednesday in which the party said it “noted” the release of a South African Reserve Bank forensic report on VBS, a report which revealed how the bank had been defrauded of billions in municipal funds and taxpayers money.

Brian Shivambu – identified as Shivambu’s brother – has been named as an alleged recipient of over R16m of that loot.

But the EFF statement made no specific mention of him. Instead, it reiterated that “all who are responsible and illegally benefitted from the fraud must be criminally prosecuted immediately” and “blacklisted”.

“Above all, the law enforcement agencies must do all they can to ensure that all the money that can be recovered must be paid back in full, including attaching properties of the individuals who benefitted from the defrauding of the VBS,” the statement read.

Responding to TimesLIVE by text, Shivambu declined to refute that his brother had indeed been implicated in the VBS report.

“The EFF issued a statement,” he said. “Please refer to that”.

The EFF’s Mbuyiseni Ndlozi further told TimesLIVE: “The EFF position is unequivocal from our statements, both before and tonight: whoever is involved and stated as having defrauded or looted VBS must be criminally prosecuted, PERIOD!”

The party’s leader Julius Malema did not respond directly to questions about whether the EFF was aware of the connection between Shivambu and VBS when it attacked the Reserve Bank over its decision to place VBS under curatorship.

At the time, the EFF said VBS was being “victimised” by SARB, and suggested that this was driven by racism.

In its statement on Wednesday, the EFF continued to criticise the SARB over its handling of the VBS scandal, and argued that it had failed to exercise proper oversight over the bank.

“Finally, it is concerning that such looting has been allowed to happen since 2015 and all the much-celebrated institutional mechanisms of reporting and monitoring banks by the SARB were not sufficient to prevent the defrauding of VBS.

“Only upon the bank giving Jacob Zuma a loan did concerns arise and decisions to closely look into its affairs happen.”

The explosive findings of a damning report into the failure of VBS Mutual Bank reveals how its architects and accomplices stole a bank. Business Day’s Warren Thompson explains what is happening at the bank.