Democratic Alliance tables motions of no confidence against mayors implicated in VBS scandal

Mayors of 15 municipalities illegally deposited funds with VBS bank, according to the DA, who on Friday announced that they will be tabling motions of no confidence against those responsible.

According to a statement released by the party, the municipalities “made deposits with VBS despite it being in contravention of” a municipal finance management act.

The DA says the municipalities made the deposits “after being instructed not to proceed with (them) by National Treasury.”

“It is unacceptable that these municipalities could potentially face collapse as their funds are unlikely to be recovered”, the statement continues.

The DA also took the opportunity to slam what they see as general mismanagement at the municipalities implicated in making the illegal deposits.

“Some of the implicated municipalities are among the worst run and most financially unstable municipalities in the country.

“It is a damning indictment on all the mayors of the affected municipalities as they may have allowed VBS to front for criminal activity in support of the uncaring ANC government”, says the statement.

In July, The Citizen reported that according to legal experts, the state will be hard pressed to prove the ANC was guilty of corruption for accepting a R250 000 donation from VBS Mutual Bank.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) said on July 23 that it had laid charges of corruption against the ruling party, citing concern that by allegedly accepting donations from the embattled Limpopo bank, the ANC might have used dirty money from the proceeds of crime and corruption to fund its election campaigns in the past.

DA national spokesperson Solly Malatsi said the DA also feared if the allegations were true, them and other parties might lose the 2019 general elections to the ANC, due to its “corrupt” tendencies.

But advocate Mvuzo Notyesi said even if the bank was involved in criminal activity, the state would have to prove that the ANC was aware, at the time of receiving the money, that the funds were illegally obtained.

“First, they would need to establish intent on the part of the ANC to knowingly benefit from the proceeds of crime. If someone robs Standard Bank and then buys a car, that does not mean whoever sold it was knowingly benefiting from a crime.

“Second, VBS is a legally incorporated financial institution. It would be reasonable to assume any funds you receive from them are also legitimate. If you are a third party and indeed that money was proceeds of a crime, it must be proven that they knew that this was where the money was coming from.”

Political analyst Ralph Mathekga said while the DA’s tack made political sense, legally it would be a hard sell.

“Politically it makes sense for the DA to lay charges and raise concerns with the manner in which the ANC’s reluctance to adhere to good goverance has benefited the party. It’s clear that the path of state capture was paved by the ANC’s willingness to accept funding from those who unduly gained from taxpayers.

“It shows conflicting interests on the part of the ANC.

“Legally though, it will be difficult for the DA to prove the ANC accepted money while knowing VBS was engaged in illegal activities.”

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