In the latest report linking the EFF to the looting of VBS Mutual Bank, the Sunday Times claims a ‘fraudulent’ application for a home loan with the bank has cast light on what it says appears to be a slush fund to channel money to the party or its leader, Julius Malema.

The report says that an analysis of records obtained during an investigation into the looting of VBS bank shows that a company called Santaclara Trading received deposits totalling millions of rands from Malema's lawyer, other companies doing work for the government in Limpopo, and the EFF itself.

Santaclara's bank statements for March to September 2017, which were submitted to VBS as part of its bond application, detail ‘concerning’ payments made mostly in multiples of R100 000 into the company's account.

In March 2017 alone, says the report, Malema's attorney Ian Levitt appears to have deposited R300 000 into the account. Levitt reportedly declined to comment on ‘matters which are clearly privileged and confidential’.

In total, just over R4m in payments into Santaclara's account have been flagged as ‘concerning’ in an accompanying analysis of the statements, says the Sunday Times.

Malema's deputy, Floyd Shivambu, through his company Grand Azania, allegedly received R1.1m from VBS and a further R3.3m from a company belonging to his brother. Brian Shivambu's Sgameka Projects received a R4m loan from VBS in 2017, R1.78m of which it has been ordered to repay. However, an analysis of the flow of funds into Grand Azania, shows it paid R500 000 to Santaclara. This, notes the report, would suggest that money from VBS – which folded after being looted out of almost R2bn at the expense of poor account-holders and struggling municipalities – found its way into Malema's or the EFF's hands through Santaclara.

Malema reportedly told the Sunday Times that he has ‘no relationship with’ Santaclara, which is ‘involved in all types of businesses’.

They are young boys who are trying to find their feet and there is no VBS for Santaclara, there is no such a thing,’ he is quoted as saying.

‘They have never received money of VBS. Those boys work hard, they hire out sound systems, hire out tents and they hire out furniture and they are legitimate traders, but because of their association with me, you guys want to destroy them. Go on.’

In its bond application to VBS, Santaclara is listed as a catering business, but an accompanying analysis states it was ‘a company structured for the purpose of concealing payments to EFF leaders’.

First Sunday Times report