Motions of no-confidence tabled against mayors over VBS scandal
Johannesburg – The main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) said on Friday it had tabled motions of no confidence against mayors of municipalities who illegally deposited funds with the failed VBS Mutual Bank in Polokwane, Limpopo.
The party said it had explored all possible avenues available to hold all those implicated accountable, including laying charges of fraud, racketeering and corruption against the executives of VBS Mutual Bank and the municipal managers and chief financial officers at affected municipalities.
The South African Reserve Bank said in March it had placed the small lender under curatorship because of liquidity issues. The institution was allegedly looted of more than R1.5 billion by its own management.
On Friday, the DA said while President Cyril Ramaphosa had expressed his embarrassment over the ruling African National Congress being "a beneficiary of this outright corruption and fraud", neither him nor cooperative governance and traditional affairs minister Zweli Mkhize had held anyone accountable.
It said the VBS scandal had left unsuspecting clients across Limpopo stranded and having to stand in long queues in a desperate bid to draw their money for days on end.
"It is unacceptable that the most vulnerable and poor had to pay for these illegal actions while the respective mayors continue to live in the lap of luxury," said the DA.
The dire state of affected municipalities was appalling as they were some of the worst run and financially dysfunctional, it said, adding that the deposits into VBS were not only made despite the National Treasury’s instruction not to do so but also in direct contravention of the Municipal Financial Management Act.
The removal of mayors who "essentially sold their municipalities to the highest bidders, is the first real step in ensuring accountability and justice for the citizens they have robbed", the DA added.
Several municipalities have defended their decision to invest with VBS.