Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema has cleared party deputy president Floyd Shivambu of wrongdoing related to the VBS Mutual Bank scandal after seeing his financial statements.
Shivambu took the party’s leaders “into his confidence” by disclosing his financial statements dating back to 2014 after allegations emerged that he received R10-million in the extensive looting that has rocked the bank and affected many poor communities in Limpopo.
“He brought his financial statements to us. We cannot locate money from the VBS,” Malema said in a press briefing on Tuesday.
“We have asked for statements as officials as far back as 2014.
And we were satisfied,” Malema said.
The party has responded to the allegations almost a week after the ‘Great Bank Heist’ report, authored by Advocate Terry Motau, first emerged.
The report states that alleged perpetrators of looting at the mutual bank stole R2-billion which was disbursed to 53 individuals and companies received R1.9-billion over three years from the bank.
The Daily Maverick later reported that the elder Shivambu had allegedly received R10-million from the scam.
But Malema and the party have stood their ground on what they claim is Shivambu’s innocence.
“You are asking why are we not taking action against Floyd. Based on what?,” Malema said on Monday.
“If Floyd has taken any money he will be punished accordingly,” Malema said.
The EFF’s leader has called on the South African Reserve Bank and anyone else with information about the alleged payments to share the information with the party so it can investigate.
Malema further confirmed that Brian Shivambu worked for the EFF, selling party merchandise, but is no longer in the EFF’s employ.
The EFF’s second-in-command has meanwhile denied ever receiving R10-million.
“There’s never been R10-million that came into my account,” Shivambu said.
He said that such reports are the results of a “propaganda campaign” to discredit the party in the run up to the 2019 general elections.
The source of this alleged propaganda campaign, Malema charged, is a faction led by Pravin Gordhan. The EFF leader did not provide evidence of this claim, however. The Sars “rogue unit” did exist, Malema claimed, despite many findings that indicate otherwise.
Criminal charges have yet to be brought against those named in the VBS report.