Published on 13.10.2018 at 15h54 by AFP
A leading politician from the radical opposition in South Africa on Saturday denied allegations he was involved in a fraud scheme at a collapsed bank at the centre of a corruption scandal.
VBS Mutual collapsed in March after scores of people and companies looted 1.9 billion rand ($130 million) over three years, an investigation commissioned by the central bank said this week, describing it as “corrupt and rotten to the core”.
VBS had also granted graft-tainted former president Jacob Zuma a 7.8 million rand loan to repay taxpayers for security upgrades to his private home.
Floyd Shivambu, deputy president of radical leftist Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) opposition party, and his brother Brian, were among those accused of graft and receiving millions in funds, the report said.
“For the record, I have never received R10 million from VBS or anyone in my personal account,” Floyd Shivambu said on Twitter.
“Faceless sources reportedly to be from South African Reserve Bank, who have ulterior motives, have been misleading journalists and radio presenters with their malicious narrative,” he added.
His brother Brian also rejected the report’s findings and threatened to take legal action, according to local press reports.
The investigation into the bank was launched after VBS suffered a severe liquidity crisis and was put under curatorship earlier this year.
The probe revealed malpractice including extending overdrafts to well-connected clients and the issuing of payments to individuals in exchange for deposits from state-owned companies.
“I have no dealings with VBS and any attempt to link the EFF to the bank for cheap political points is a clear sign of desperation,” Shivambu said, adding that he sees “weapons of mass deception and propaganda machines hard at work”.
The main opposition Democratic Alliance party has demanded explanations from the EFF and the ruling African National Congress (ANC), whose members have also been blamed for the crisis at the bank.