COSATU Limpopo Rolling Mass action against corruption and VBS Looters

The Congress of South African Trade Unions in Limpopo joins millions of South Africans in deploring the impudent raid of monies of the working class and the poor at VBS. This is the most deplorable and unforgivable thieving of monies of poor people in recent history. The matter of VBS has been on the agenda of the federation since the Prudential Authority of the South African Reserve Bank uncovered massive fraud within the mutual bank.

The federation had at its 5th Provincial Congress held in July 2018, resolved as follows regarding the VBS saga:

  1. That there must be consequence management for all leaders of municipalities that flouted the MFMA by investing in the Mutual Bank.
  2. That the law enforcement agencies must speed up the investigation of the matter and charges preferred against the perpetrators.

After the Investigator Advocate Terry Motau SC released “The Great Bank Heist” report, the federation convened an urgent Provincial Political Commission on the 15th October 2018 to discuss the matter and the following are the resolutions:

1. On senior leaders of the alliance implicated

  • In its discussion, the federation was guided by the resolutions of the ANC 54th National Congress particularly on unity and renewal of our movement. Part of the renewal project includes fighting corruption within the state and prompt action against leaders accused of thieving of public resources.
  • The federation further believes that the alliance cannot convincingly and effectively campaign for the 2019 General Elections with a dark cloud hanging over some of its senior leaders.
  • We are therefore calling:
    • The South African Reserve Bank, the NPA and the Hawks to institute legal proceeding against those implicated as a matter of extreme urgency.
    • The immediate recusal and or suspension of the affected senior leaders of the ANC and the SACP pending the finalization of internal organizational and judicial processes.
    • The immediate suspension and or recall of political leaders and senior officials in municipalities implicated in the illegal and unlawful investment of public monies into VBS.

3. COSATU Provincial Rolling Mass Action

As a result of the decisions above, COSATU as a campaigning trade union federation has resolved to embark on a rolling mass action against corruption and VBS looters in the province. We are calling upon our alliance partners, civil society, churches, ordinary people and the VBS depositors, majority of whom are elderly and poor to join the demonstrations.

3.1 Phase one: Rolling Mass Action to Municipalities

Phase One of our rolling mass action includes demonstrations to all the seven (7) implicated municipalities, demand accountability and resignation of politicians and senior officials who took illegal and unlawful decisions to invest public monies into VBS. The focus would be on those municipalities that could not recover their investments from VBS.

Municipality Date Time Assembly Point
Giyani 02 November 2018 09h00 Giyani Community Hall
Collins Chabane 02 November 2018 09h00 Hlekani Complex (Malamulele
Vhembe District 02 November 2018 09h00 Thulamela Town Hall (Thohoyandou)
Makhado 02 November 2018 09h00 Makhado Information Centre
Lepelle-Nkumpi 02 November 2018 09h00 KFC Park (Lebowakgomo)
Ephraim Mogale 02 November 2018 09h00 Big Save Parking (Marble Hall)
Tubatse-Fetakgomo – Burgerfort 02 November 2018 09h00 Morone Complex next to taxi rank (Burgerfort)
Tubatse-Fetakgomo – Apel O2 November 2018 09h00 Ga-Nkoana next to taxi rank (Apel)

3.2 Provincial March against corruption and VBC looters

The federation will then embark on a provincial march on the 14th November 2018 against the VBS to the Premier’s Office, Provincial Treasury, SAPS and COGHSTA to demand urgent action and arrest against those implicated.

3.3 Phase two: Rolling Mass Action to Municipalities

Phase Two of our rolling mass action would include demonstrations to all other municipalities that unlawfully invested public monies into VBS but were able to withdraw/recover their monies before the collapse of the mutual bank. We would be demonstrating to demand accountability from all those politicians and senior officials who took illegal and unlawful decision in contravention of the MFMA. The federation shall communicate further details in due course with regard to Phase Two.

4. on the attempted murder of SAMWU Provincial Secretary

The federation in the province is baffled by reports of attempted murder of the Provincial Secretary of SAMWU, comrade Patrick Aphane. We are informed that during the evening of Sunday, 28 October 2018, unknown gunmen approached the house of comrade Patrick Aphane and fired several rounds of live ammunitions hitting the wall of the bedroom. At the time of the incident the Provincial Secretary was home with his family and fortunately no one was hurt.

There are strong suspicions that the shooting might be related to the ongoing campaign against corruption and the VBS saga. As the federation we wish to strongly condemn this act of barbarism in a province where there is relative peace and political stability. We are therefore calling upon the law enforcement agencies to leave no stone unturned in finding the suspects in this regard.

5. On the Reserves Bank’s application for final liquidation of the VBS

The federation in the province notes reports that the South African Reserve Bank’s Prudential Authority (PA) has lodged an application in the High Court in Pretoria for the final liquidation of VBS Mutual Bank. This, according to the Prudential Authority, is as a result of the fact that VBS is hopelessly insolvent and massive frauds have been perpetrated against it.

The federation has for many years waged a struggle for the transformation of the financial sector in our country. The VBS was such a black owned initiative that served the interest of the poor and the working class. It would have been our view that the bank would be recapitalized and be given back to the people in order to continue serving the interest of the poor and the working class.

Despite the liquidation process, the federation still believe that it would be in the interest of the people of our province, the working class and the poor, to retain the banking license of the VBS in order to establish a new state bank by our province government. This is a matter we are going to engage the ruling party in the next few weeks.

Issued by COSATU Limpopo

Gerald Mkhomazi Twala (Provincial Secretary)
79A Biccard Street
Mobile: 071 587 2872/076 522 8864