BURGERSFORT – Cosatu mobilised its alliance partners, civil society and the VBS depositors to join the demonstrations at Fetakgomo Tubatse Local Municipality (FTLM) last Friday.
The labour federation demanded accountability and the resignation of politicians and senior officials who took illegal and unlawful decisions to invest public money into VBS.
The secretary of Cosatu, Floyd Pholoane, said they want politicians involved in the VBS Mutual Bank scandal to resign. “We are making the same call here for the immediate suspension of mayor Johannes Phokane, his Exco committee and senior officials for taking illegal and unlawful decisions to invest public money into VBS.”
He added, “We are warning the provincial treasury of the ANC, Danny Msiza, the provincial deputy chairperson of the ANC, Florenze Radzilani, mayor Phokane, the municipal managers and the CFO that if they don’t want to be pushed by us, no matter what the ANC is going to say in the National Executive Commitee (NEC) – if they decide to save them; we will be on the street to make sure that we push them out.
“We are now going to continue to fight, and we want President Cyril Ramaphosa to lead us to make sure that people are arrested.”
Persons implicated in the VBS scandal include the provincial leaders of the ANC, including deputy chairman and Vhembe mayor, Florence Radzilani, treasurer Msiza and former ANC youth league leader, Kabelo Matsepe.
An independent report into the collapse of VBS named 50 people and entities that “gratuitously” received cash from VBS over a three-year period, commencing in March 2015.
The explosive report, commissioned by the South African Reserve Bank, found that there was “wide-scale looting and pillaging of the monies placed on deposit at VBS.”
The nearly R2 billion looted included clients’ life savings and deposits, including millions of rand deposited by municipalities, even though the Public Finance Management Act does not permit depositing public funds into a mutual bank.
The report said the deposits were made in exchange for bribes. The Reserve Bank placed VBS under curatorship in March after it was found to be facing a liquidity crisis.