The ANC has allegedly now been directly implicated as a beneficiary of the VBS bank heist.
In a statement on Sunday, DA leader Mmusi Maimane called on the ANC to repay an alleged R2 million the party allegedly received from VBS Mutual Bank for its election campaign.
“It appears President Ramaphosa’s commitment to rooting out corruption continues to ring hollow, with more empty promises from a failing ANC that steals from the poor and vulnerable to make themselves rich,” said Maimane.
“It is time for President Ramaphosa to take immediate and decisive action. We therefore call on the president to without delay lay criminal charges against those who engineered this corrupt kickback – including the minister of cooperative governance and traditional affairs, Zweli Mkhize.
“The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) now needs to act against those in the ANC who stole money from VBS bank accounts of poor, vulnerable and elderly people and funnelled it to rich politicians, politically connected businesspersons, and their associates.”
The Sunday Times earlier reported that a series of WhatsApp messages allegedly lay bare how VBS bosses referred to the ANC donation, which was allegedly paid to a service provider during the ruling party’s 2016 election campaign.
ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe told the paper the ANC had no record of the R2 million donation, and undertook to pay it back if it was indeed received.
Maimane called on Ramaphosa to instruct ANC treasurer-general Paul Mashatile to guarantee that the party pay back every cent of the money within seven days.
“It is difficult not to connect the dots between ANC-run municipalities investing millions in VBS, and this R2 million kickback to the ANC. Therefore, this too must be investigated by the NPA.
“The DA will not relent in our pursuit of justice and accountability in this VBS scandal. President Ramaphosa’s alleged prior knowledge of the unfoldings at VBS – from as early as 2017 – requires due consideration.”
Ramaphosa denied this month that he was given such advance warning or knowledge about fraud at the bank.
“The president has a legislative duty to report corrupt transactions in terms of section 34(1) of Prevention and Combatting of Corrupt Activities Act 12 of 2004 (PACCA). If he failed to do so, he may well be criminally liable.
Added Maimane: “When President Ramaphosa appears in parliament to answer questions next week, I will look to ask him ‘On what date did he first become aware of the involvement of executives in corruption and looting at VBS Bank, and what date did he subsequently act in this regard? ‘The president must answer to the people of South Africa.”
Maimane lamented that the VBS heist was just one example of the “almost daily occurrence of corruption, cronyism and nepotism under the ANC – all which steals opportunity from South Africans”.
“President Ramaphosa has now been afforded a golden opportunity to prove to South Africans that he is more than just hot air and empty promises. We hope the president takes this opportunity and acts by laying criminal charges against his fellow comrades, and ensuring this R2 million kickback to the ANC is paid back.”