By Koketso Marishane
The South African public sector under the ANC government has become a nuisance, characterised by corruption among other malicious things. Seemingly, those who are connected to authority, will reveal how the country got to be where it is now.
Indeed, it seem the politicians in the ANC have read less of Conversations With Sons and Daughters by Dr. Mamphela Ramphele, Always Another Country by Msimang and We Need To Talk by Prof. Jonathan Jansen.
Unfortunately, that is the view we get when we scrutinise the report on VBS Mutual Bank by Adv. Terry Motau’s titled ‘The Great Bank Heist’. The tragedy with the VBS Bank plot is that billions of Rand from the poorest black people in South Africa have been stolen by rich and connected politicians for whom the vote chunk has put in power through the ballot box.
This refers to our beloved pensioners in deepest rural areas of South Africa. But then again, their immediate families are not affected hence one may ask: why are we surprised by this? After all, this is the same Mutual Bank that rose to prominence in 2016 after it had rescued the troubled and headstrong former President Jacob Zuma with a controversial loan of R7.8 million to pay for his Nkandla scandalous debt. From a distance, it did not make any business sense just how a Mutual Bank of such nature could plunge itself into such a risk.
However, not so long after the move, serious actions were made where 14 municipalities from the Limpopo, North-West and Gauteng Provinces inconveniently deposited approximately R1.5 billion of the public funds into the VBS Mutual (not commercial) Bank despite the fact that those transactions were said to be illegal in terms of the Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA). Did anyone care to act against these?
The Motau Report reveals that the ANC politicians have looted from the poorest black South Africans, approximately R2 billion. The collusion between the globally esteemed auditing firm and VBS Bank left the poorest rural black people of Limpopo high and thirsty. Surprisingly, instead of reporting the observable malicious deeds that were manifesting at the institution, the esteemed auditing firm decided to report no irregularities, which directly deepened the bank’s risk exposure and left its’ books in disarray.
The direct consequence of these actions, are that planned development projects in the various municipalities came to a standstill because the ANC-led government allowed the public purse to be diverted to the private pockets of their members and some political organisations. The Report fingers specific ANC people as the “kingpin’ of the scheme. The other 53 characters that stole the people’s money include tribal chief in Limpopo who is said to have pocketed R17.7 million.
Interesting, when there were calls for the VBS Mutual Bank to be liquited or put under curatorship when it experienced liquidity challenges, the EFF was loudly vocal in defence of the Bank as if they’re protecting public interest. The organisation stated that VBS was a “bank of black people”, which should have been saved. That note sounded authentic until recently when The Great Bank Heist Report revealed that a certain EFF member who is also the brother of the EFF’s senior politician, has stole about R16 million from the money of poor Black South Africans.
Recently, another media house went further and stated that EFF member “has allegedly received R1.3 million illegally from VBS Mutual Bank into the party’s bank account”. That media house, also wrote that “EFF senior politician’s younger brother, allegedly funnelled around R10 million through a company into a personal bank account belonging to EFF senior politician”.
Judging from the recent news, on Wednesday night Adv Motau SC, told the ENCA anchor that their Terms of Reference were limited to tracing and following the money flowing into the VBS Mutual Bank, and the one flowing out. But they could not go beyond the immediate entity or person who received money from the bank. He then expressed hope that the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) would conduct thorough investigations beyond the imposed limiting Terms of Reference and recover all the money, while unleashing the might of the law against the culprits.
The vote chunk needs to ask the difficult questions: What type of a country has South Africa become where politicians are at liberty to mismanage the economy and steal the taxpayers’ money without any consequences? Presidents violate their Oaths of Office and the Constitution without any consequences. Parliaments abdicate their Constitutional authority and duty of holding the Executive accountable without any consequences. Politicians continuously steal the public money and get rewarded with ‘deployments’ into higher spaces of responsibility and higher paying offices. Cabinet Ministers lie under oath without any consequences. What has South Africa become?
As things stand, mindful of the South African dynamics, it’s most unlikely than not that about two thirds of the Members of Parliament and the Executive may go to jail. Like, what are the chances? In only a Quarter of a Century, the ruling party has run the country’s economy down the drain. That is all the reason why the vote chunk must take serious reconsideration on their options come election next year, which is briefly a few months from now.
Ultimately, the masses and the voters must work for South Africa to fulfil the South African Vision (NDP2030) that the nation has agreed upon, which entails that “South African belongs to all its people. We, the people, belong to one another, Our homes, neighbourhoods, villages, towns and cities are safe and filled with laughter. Through our institutions, we order our lives. And the faces of our children tell of the future we are crafting”.
Koketso Marishane writes as a concerned citizen.