The provisional liquidator of the VBS Mutual Bank has approached the courts to recover R2.7-million loaned by the bank to cash-strapped businessperson, Brian Shivambu.
The funds are part of a R4-million loan facility controversially granted to Brian’s company Sgameka Projects by the bank in late 2017.
The 31-year-old has not serviced the loan and is in arrears of more than R2.7-million, liquidator Anoosh Rooplal said in his founding affidavit attached to the application.
Rooplal, who was the bank’s curator until he was appointed provisional liquidator when the Pretoria high court ordered that it be liquidated in November 2018, said the loan had been granted to Brian’s company Sgameka Projects and that he [Brian] had stood as surety.
When contacted for comment on Saturday, Brian — the younger brother of Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) deputy president Floyd Shivambu — said he had not received any summons regarding his loan with VBS and referred subsequent questions to his lawyer.
However, the Mail & Guardian has established that papers in the matter were filed in the Johannesburg high court on Thursday. Brian was allegedly served on Friday and has five court days to indicate whether he intends to oppose the matter and another 15 days to file an opposing affidavit.
Rooplal said the loan agreement was signed in December 2017 and Sgameka had undertaken to repay it in 23 instalments of R190 637.24 and a final instalment of R188 555.37.
“The respondent [Brian] agreed to sign a suretyship in favour of the applicant for all sums and/or monies due or which become due to the applicant [VBS] by Sgameka, and arising out of the loan agreement …
“… Sgameka breached Loan Agreement in that it failed to make payment of the monthly instalments due to the applicants thus resulting in the accrual of significant arrears due and owing to the applicant, and failed and/or neglected to make payments of the amounts due and payable to the applicant, despite demand.”
He added that since January this year, Werksmans — the bank’s attorneys — had issued letters of demand for the monies due, and that Brian, through his attorneys, made an offer to pay R5 000 a month from March until July, when he would increase the repayments.
The agreement states that should the debtor be unable to make instalments debt enforcement procedures would be initiated which would see the Brian make 240 monthly payments of R 19 660.84.
“I am further advised that where a debtor offers to pay less than what he is required to pay and such an offer is not accepted, the debtor would have committed an act of insolvency. The respondents offer is three times lower than the initial instalment in respect of the loan agreement. It is evident the respondent is struggling financially and is most likely incurring debt to the detriment of its current creditors,” he said.
A certificate of balance and statement invoice attached to the application shows that R1-million went to another of Brian’s companies Grand Azania. A further R1.1-million went to Architects Studio for the design and construction of Grand Azania wine bar that was to be in Vilakazi Street, Soweto.
The rest of the R2.7-million is made up of a R200 000 initiation fee and interest.
Earlier this month the Daily Maverick reported that Brian may have obtained the facility fraudulently as he ceded a R4-million investment account — which allegedly does not exist — as security. This was in an attempt to remedy the fact that he did not qualify for the loan, and he had already borrowed R1.46-million for a house his parents lived in.
The Daily Maverick further reported that Floyd Shivambu had attempted to get wine farmers in Stellenbosch to bottle his own wine under the Grand Azania brand.
Brian is one of 53 individuals and entities listed in senior counsel Terry Motau’s VBS Mutual Bank: The Great Bank Heist, a forensic report commissioned by the Reserve Bank, which details how nearly R2-billion was looted from VBS.
Brian sought to explain his R16-million largesse as fees for consulting work done by Sgameka for the bank, but has been unable to provide any paperwork substantiating his claims.
The M&G has previously reported that Grand Azania was one of the companies Brian paid part of the R16-million to and that his older brother Floyd sent its banking details to a Public Investment Corporation-funded businessman Lawrence Mulaudzi for payment.
Another report showed that R5-million made its way to Mahuna Investments, an entity belonging to a cousin of EFF leader Julius Malema. Another R400 00 went towards the purchase of a R2.7-million townhouse in Fourways, Johannesburg where Floyd Shivambu seemed to have been living.