VBS scandal: Paul Mashatile admits ANC received 2 payments from Vele Investments
ANC treasurer general Paul Mashatile has entered the fray in the debate relating to large-scale looting at VBS Mutual Bank.
He admitted that the party received R2m from the now collapsed bank.
This after the Sunday Times reported that the party received a R2m donation from the bank's majority shareholder, Vele Investments.
On Thursday, Mashatile confirmed to eNCA exclusively that the amount was received through Vele Investments.
He said the investment company paid R2m to a service provider on behalf of the ANC ahead of the 2016 local government elections, but that he did not know what it was for.
He also admitted that the amount was not documented in the ANC's books.
Mashatile said Vele also bought a table for R250 000 through the party's a Progressive Business Forum at a gala dinner held by the ANC during its January 8 birthday celebrations in East London.
"They just bought a table. If you recall, at the time there were no issues about VBS, so nobody was alert to that. Normally, when our team sells tables to companies, we don't really inspect their books or check those things," said Mashatile.
"There was no VBS person who stood up and said: 'I am pledging anything,'" added Mashatile.
ANC Limpopo deputy chairperson Florence Radzilani and treasurer Danny Msiza were implicated in the report on large-scale looting at VBS, which was authored by advocate Terry Motau and law firm Werksmans Attorneys. In it, Msiza was labelled as a political influencer and fixer who got municipalities to invest in VBS.
Fifty-three individuals – including Radzilani, Msiza and EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu's younger brother Brian Shivambu – have been implicated in the report into the looting of almost R1.89bn from the bank.
"When there was trouble at VBS we did check and found out that there's a company called Vele that did buy a table at the time," said Mashatile.
"I instructed my team. I said any funds that come into the ANC and money stolen or acquired irregularly we must not accept it or must return it," added the governing party's treasurer general.
We must not shield people
Mashatile said he did not know that West Rand municipalities had invested in VBS while he was the Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) MEC in Gauteng.
"It's obliviously very bad. When I was MEC for Cogta, one of the municipalities I had to bail out was West Rand. They were struggling," he explained.
"We mustn't try to shield people and make noise about the EFF. We must focus on our own, make sure those who did wrong are punished."
There are allegations that Brian Shivambu received R16m from Vele Investments.
Mashatile was also of the view that recommendations by the ANC's integrity commission into the claims should be implemented.
The commission recommended that all those implicated should step down from leadership positions in the party.
The ANC's national executive committee, which is its highest decision-making body in between conferences, is expected to deliberate the issue over the weekend.
"My approach is that a recommendation from the integrity commission must mean something. It must be taken seriously," said Mashatile.
"I'm sure once the recommendation comes from the integrity commission the leadership will accept that, unless there is something else that needs to be explained," he said.
Mashatile said it was not enough for senior leaders to step down, adding that the matter should be fully investigated and all officials - including chief financial officers and municipal managers - must be held accountable.