EFF ignores Shivambu family link in VBS reaction statement

Fighters have been adamant in public statements that mutual bank should be protected

EFF ignores Shivambu family link in VBS reaction statement

11 October 2018

The EFF has expressed its concern about a report revealing large-scale fraud at VBS Mutual Bank, but didn't mention a word about the relative of one its leaders, who was named as a participant in a "looting scheme".

News24 previously reported that Brian Shivambu, the brother of EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu, received R16m from the now collapsed VBS Mutual Bank.

Brian Shivambu was on a list of 27 people and companies who received the largest amounts of money from the bank in a "looting scheme" totalling R1.8bn.

The list was contained in an investigation report compiled by advocate Terry Motau, titled "The Great Bank Heist".Motau's report was not clear about what the cash payments to Shivambu were for.

In a statement on Wednesday night, EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi noted the report and said action should be taken.

"The EFF reiterates its position that all who are responsible and illegally benefited from the fraud must be criminally prosecuted immediately. As we have previously indicated, we also reiterate that they must be black listed," he said.

"Above all, the law enforcement agency 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 benefited from the defrauding of VBS."

Ndlozi was concerned that the looting had gone unnoticed and appeared to take a dig at the SA Reserve Bank (SARB).

"... 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.

Elias Shivambu - who is a director in a company called Sunshine Hub alongside Brian Shivambu - confirmed to News24 that he is Brian's and Floyd's father. "Yes [I am their father], but I don't know anything about the R16m."

Informed sources who have knowledge about the investigation into VBS also confirmed that Brian was Floyd's brother.Floyd Shivambu, Ndlozi and EFF commander-in-chief Julius Malema have not yet responded to calls or texts seeking their comment.

A Twitter profile for Brian was found on Wednesday morning, but it was deleted within hours of the release of the report. The account had been active since November 2010.

According to the biography on the Twitter profile, Brian Shivambu is employed at the EFF headquarters and is the managing director of Mabyeni Trading and Projects.Company records for Mabyeni show that Brian Answer Shivambu has been the sole director since 2011.

Further searches revealed that Brian provided his employer details as "provincial legislature" as late as August this year and, previously, the Economic Freedom Fighters.

Cellphone numbers linked to Brian went straight to voicemail when called.

News24 has established that Brian was a co-director in a company called Sunshine Hub with three other individuals who share the Shivambu surname – Hlegani Elias, Mujaji Constance and Fumani Innocent Shivambu.

According to CIPC records, Sunshine Hub's address is in Malamulele in Limpopo.Floyd Shivambu is from Malamulele and his parents are named as Elias and Constance.

The EFF has been adamant in public statements, on Twitter or via the media, that VBS should  - as a black bank – be protected.

"I think we should picket at #SARB in defense of our bank attacked and we fold our arms. We must defend #VBSBank, the only bank that gives mortgage to black rural people with PTO's," Malema tweeted in March.

Motau's report found that there was no prospect of saving VBS Bank because it was "rotten to the core".

Ndlozi said in the statement on Wednesday that they hoped the bank could be saved or that other black-owned prospective black licence applicants could be supported.