VBS was meant to collapse and finish EFF – Malema

EFF leader insists claims were fabricated to destroy his party

VBS was meant to collapse and finish EFF – Malema

3 May 2019

While EFF commander-in-chief Julius Malema welcomes calls for his party to be investigated over allegations that it was involved in the collapse of VBS Mutual Bank, he insists the claims were fabricated intended to destroy the party.

Malema made the comments during a sit-down interview with News24, during which he denied any involvement in both the VBS and the GladAfrica scandals, the latter of which rocked the City of Tshwane over the past year.

"Where corruption directly implicates the EFF, let it be pointed out with proper evidence. We will act on it. There hasn’t been anything. You can go to VBS, Bosasa, you can even go to Guptas," he said.

Last week, DA leader Mmusi Maimane, whose party is in an informal working relationship with the EFF in the Tshwane and Johannesburg metros, told News24 that he believed the EFF should be investigated over the VBS scandal.

Although the party was not directly implicated in a damning report, penned by advocate Terry Motau, into the collapse of the bank - which found that 53 individuals and entities had looted R1.9bn - allegations and links to the EFF persist. Thus far, the party has denied these claims at every turn.

The latest person to claim the party benefited from donations from the bank was former EFF national disciplinary chairperson, Thembinkosi Rawula. Last month, writing in a social media post, Rawula said Malema admitted to taking the money to "finance the revolution".

Malema and the party denied Rawula's allegations, with the EFF leader announcing he was suing the former member over his statement.

"VBS was meant to collapse and finish EFF," Malema told News24 this week.

'Not a real cloud'

"They created an artificial cloud, it’s not a real cloud," continued the EFF leader, without a mention of who was behind the so-called attempt.

He then went on to speak of EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu's younger brother, Brian, whom the EFF previously said sold had party merchandise. Malema again insisted that what Brian Shivambu did was not the party’s business, unlike ANC provincial leaders Danny Msiza and Florence Radzilani, who were also implicated.

Malema was referring to a Daily Maverick report which linked the Shivambu brothers to a R4m business loan that had been obtained through the VBS bank. Both Floyd and Brian Shivambu denied it.

Brian Shivambu and his Sgameka Projects company were granted R4m in loans by VBS, the Motau probe found.

Brian is being sued by VBS's liquidators to recoup the money, but he's indicated he will take the report on review, questioning its findings.

Zille 'went to eat curry' with Guptas

Malema, speaking of his own family members, said many were in business, but he had no right to tell them not to pursue such careers, or tell them who to get into deals with.

"If I say to them, don’t go into business, I must feed their children, take care of them. The one I was told is implicated in a relationship with Brian has got twins, what am I going to do? If I say to him, don’t get into business, I must take care of his family, wife, kids and his parents. That’s not sustainable," argued Malema.

While he took no issues with Maimane saying his party should be investigated over VBS, Malema said the DA leader had no right to make such comments, as his predecessor Helen Zille had also been a recipient of Guptas money, a family accused of capturing the state and using its relationship with former president Jacob Zuma to loot from South Africans.

"Mmusi must not tell us about the EFF being investigated when his predecessor has eaten the curry. She went to eat the curry, she took money from the Guptas," said Malema.

"Now he has some chicken audacity to go and install a statue of the Guptas at the church that founded the ANC. Before he puts the statue of the Guptas, he must vomit the curry," said the leader of the red berets.

'They've never found anything'

Malema also insisted that his party would be the only one not called to account at the state capture inquiry, claiming that the DA’s dealings with Bosasa and the Guptas were reason for the main opposition party to take to the stand at the commission led by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.

Malema said the multibillion-rand GladAfrica scandal that rocked the Tshwane municipality and the DA had nothing to do with his party.

"They tried to pull the EFF into that scandal. They've never brought anything, they always say the relationship between the DA and EFF in Tshwane is of a corrupt nature," said Malema.

"They've never found anything," he continued.

He said, not only did the EFF have no part in the scandal, but that he personally did not even know who owned the engineering company that had entered into an irregular contract with the City.