DA Leader Maimane requests urgent Parliamentary debate on VBS heist

Issued by Mmusi Maimane – Leader of the Democratic Alliance
17 Oct 2018 in News

The blatant theft of almost R2 billion from VBS bank accounts by rich politicians, politically connected businesspersons, and their associates is crime against the poor, vulnerable and elderly in South Africa. It is a national disgrace, and the DA will not let this become another corruption scandal to be swept under the carpet. The VBS scandal has wreaked havoc on the lives countless poor South Africans who may very well have lost their life savings due to corruption by ANC politicians and their connected cronies.

It is for this reason that I will today write to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete, requesting an urgent debate of national importance in Parliament on this matter. Parliament is the democratic institution tasked with holding executive power to account and must be afforded an urgent opportunity to carry out its mandate.

The DA had planned on using the President’s oral question session in Parliament tomorrow in order to pose an urgent question to him about this issue. Now that the session has been postponed due to the President’s ill-health, it is crucial that Parliament exercises its mandate and allows an urgent debate on this. The matter meets the criteria for an urgent, national debate as the implications of this scandal are wide-reaching considering that billions of public money has been stolen.

The DA believes those fingered in Advocate Terry Motau’s report ‘The Great Bank Heist’, must be criminally charged for fraud, money laundering, and corruption, and if found guilty, spend a minimum of 15 years behind bars. The DA has already laid criminal charges against the “VBS 50” – as recommended by Advocate Motau’s South African Reserve Bank (SARB) report.

While the report implicates a laundry list of ANC public office bearers and elected officials, the role of President Cyril Ramaphosa in the scandal needs Parliament’s urgent consideration. If it is true that the President had prior knowledge of the corruption and looting at VBS – and failed to act – he may be criminally liable in terms of section 34(1) of Prevention and Combatting of Corrupt Activities Act 12 of 2004 (PACCA).

I therefore implore Speaker Mbete to grant this request and allow Parliament to get to the bottom of what really happened at the VBS bank. Those South Africans dispossessed by this crime deserve nothing less.

The VBS heist is yet another example of institutionalised corruption, cronyism and nepotism under the ANC – all which steals opportunity from South Africans.  Instead of governing in the interests of all South Africans, the ANC has chosen to create an ecosystem within the party and within government that only serves to makes themselves rich.

Only the DA can fix this broken system that locks South Africans out by creating an open, fair and transparent model of government that sees all politically connected individuals found guilty of corruption spending a minimum of 15 years in jail.