Criminal charges threat over VBS inaction
The North West’s provincial Scopa will lay criminal charges against municipal officials who invested millions with VBS Mutual Bank if their municipalities fail to act against them. Yesterday, North West Scopa chairperson Mahlakeng Mahlakeng issued the warning after it emerged that some municipal officials implicated in the ‘Great Bank Heist’ scandal were still occupying positions in municipalities.
‘Only the Mahikeng Local Municipality has placed its municipal manager on suspension,’ he said, according to a report in The Mercury.
Scopa’s decision came as one of the ANC councillors in the North West, Michael Mkhandawira, of the Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati District Municipality in Vryburg, suggested its mayor Boitumelo Mahlangu be charged along with their municipal manager Jerry Mononela and former chief financial officer Segomotso Phatudi. Mkhandawira – who is a member of the Municipal Public Accounts Committee – said Mahlangu should be charged for her submission to Scopa that they decided to invest with VBS Mutual Bank after attending a Premier’s Co-ordinating Council meeting in March last year.
The municipality invested R100m on 19 February, followed by a second investment of R50m on 2 March.
The ANC's integrity commission has recommended all party members implicated in the scandal should relinquish leadership positions and activities. According to a statement by the committee's chairperson, George Mashamba, the party's ‘reputation and credibility has been seriously damaged’.
A News24 report notes implicated ANC leaders – like Limpopo treasurer-general Danny Msiza, and Florence Radzilani, the deputy provincial chairperson and executive mayor of Vhembe – were advised by secretary-general Ace Magashule's office to approach the commission, but they did not do so.
‘To protect the integrity and reputation of the ANC, the national integrity commission recommends to the national executive committee that these members should be directed to step aside from all leadership positions and all activities of the ANC,’ the statement reads.
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