Malema’s sidekick admits corruption

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party leaders Floyd Shivambu (L) and Julius Malema (R) leave the parliament in Cape Town, South Africa February 11, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings/File Photo

EFF deputy leader Floyd Shivambu has conceded that money from the now collapsed VBS Mutual Bank was used to fund his high-end Range Rover Sport, but insists that the money is clean, according to a report on Friday.

Shivambu told the Mail & Guardian that Sgameka Projects, a company run by his brother Brian, had transferred R680 000 to a Sandton dealership to make up a shortfall after he traded in his 2013 Range Rover model for a new one.

The payment was apparently part of his brother’s purchase of one of his old cars, a 2012 BMW 7 Series.

After initially denying the Range Rover was bought with VBS money, Shivambu told the publication that the money was clean because his brother had paid back two loans totalling more than R4m.

In a report released by the SA Reserve Bank last year, Brian Shivambu or his companies were said to have received about R16m from VBS.

He was was ordered by the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg to pay R1.78m to VBS Mutual Bank’s liquidators.

According to the Mail & Guardian at the time, the order related to an application Anoosh Rooplal, the liquidator of the now defunct bank, lodged as part of efforts to recover R2.7m that was part of a R4m loan granted to Sgameka Projects, in late 2017.

Sgameka Projects paid back the capital amount of a loan and mortgage taken with the bank in 2017 and 2016 respectively, Business Day reported, but still owed interest on the loans.

According to an investigation by the Daily Maverick Scorpio team, EFF leader Julius Malema benefited, in part, from money which flowed from VBS Mutual Bank to the party’s leadership.

Their investigation appeared to reveal that Malema, Shivambu, Shivambu’s brother Brian, and Malema’s cousin Matsobane Phaleng were all implicated in the illicit flow of funds.

They have denied the allegations.

Earlier this month, Malema banned investigative journalism units amaBhungane and Daily Maverick’s Scorpio from attending party events after they published an exposé on him, News24 reported.

He described the two publications as frauds, designed to pursue the interest of Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan.

“We declare them as an enemy of the revolution, they should never participate in our events, we should never answer any question from amaBhungane, Daily Maverick from Scorpio. Let them write any nonsense they want to write about us. We know [the person] who writes their questions is Pravin.” – Source: M&G