Arrests coming in VBS scandal - Cyril Ramaphosa

ANC President tells rally in Vhembe region that recommendations of forensic report are being implemented

VBS scandal top of agenda during roll-out of ANC's manifesto in Limpopo

Thousands of people packed the Thohoyandou Stadium in Vhembe region, Limpopo, on Saturday to listen to ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa as he led the party’s 107 th birthday and launch the manifesto in the province.

In almost an hour address, Ramaphosa spoke of the thorny issue of the VBS scandal in which hundreds of people lost money when the bank collapsed after being looted of billions of rands.

"In the Vhembe region, there is a huge problem of the bank named VBS in which money belonging to the elderly people was stolen. This matter of VBS is being investigated.

"We’ve agreed with the premier (Stan Mathabatha) after he reported that the implementation of the forensic report has reached another stage. The recommendations of the forensic report are being implemented.

"What is happening now is that evidence is being gathered for arrests and successful arrests," Ramaphosa said to loud applause.

Mathabatha said the implementation of the forensic report into the VBS scandal has reached what he described as the "court readiness stage".

"We want to do our things in a very systematic manner. We don’t want anything to escape through our fingers or to be judged that we failed on procedural matter when it comes to this matter because we will fail the ordinary masses on the ground," Mathabatha said.

"Be rest assured that everything we do in this matter will be objective and scientific. We will follow every discrepancy and every grievance and every misconduct to the latter until we find the root of this problem,” he said.

Ramaphosa also visited the families of the two leaders of the SA Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) in Vhembe who were gunned down at their homes. The incidents are believed to have been connected with the VBS scandal.

At the event at the stadium, Ramaphosa also spoke at length on various issues, including the botched R3bn Giyani Water Project. He said 89 villages were currently without drinking water because of the collapse of the project.

He also earlier met with traditional and church leaders in an attempt to garner their support ahead of the general elections on 8 May.

The traditional leaders, however, complained that their concerns remain unresolved and leaders of the governing party only engage them during the election period.