Cosatu demands action against those implicated in VBS saga

Cosatu protesters
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The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has marched to the office of the premier of Limpopo, Stan Mathabatha, to demand action against people involved in the VBS downfall.

Cosatu Deputy Secretary Solly Phetoe says the African National Congress (ANC) provincial deputy chairperson, who is also Mayor of Vhembe District Municipality, Florence Radzilani and party’s Treasurer, Danny Msiza should have resigned after allegations were levelled against them.

“We are asking you as the Premier, supported by the ANC, to remove those people as soon as possible… they must resign. You know that if you are implicated resign with immediate effect, the treasurer of the ANC in this province must resign today, deputy chairperson of the ANC must resign today.”

Premier Mathabatha, who is also the provincial ANC chairperson, says action will be taken against both ANC and government officials implicated in the VBS scandal.

“The VBS issue is a very important issue for us – but the ANC is not afraid of them – and the ANC government will act. But as provincial government as soon as we get that forensic report we will start acting on everybody who is implicated, we will deal with these people and we will respond to this memorandum within 72 hours.”

Meanwhile, the special council meeting at the Elias Motsoaledi Municipality at Groblersdal in Limpopo is being held in camera. Security officers have closed the glass doors which separate the gallery and the council chambers. Members of the public, mostly dressed in red Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) colours, started calling for the removal of Mayor Julia Mathebe.

The council sitting is expected to decide on the future of the municipal manager, Minah Maredi and CFO George Mapheto. The two are on precautionary suspension for their alleged involvement in depositing R190 million at VBS mutual bank.

In another VBS Mutual Bank story, the union representing 26 remaining VBS workers says it has lost hope that the bank can still be saved following Tueday’s Pretoria High Court liquidation ruling.  The court gave authority to the Reserve Bank to start the process of liquidation.

The curator says the process will start once he receives formal documents from the Master of the High Court appointing him as the liquidator. 92 VBS employees have already been retrenched.

Finance Union SASBO’s Secretary Lebo Selepe says Tuesday’s order means that the 26 workers will also lose their jobs.

“Up until yesterday (Tuesday) we really had hoped that they could be some sort of second chance of survival for the bank, but it seems in this instance that with the judgment handed down, it hit the final blow to any kind of hope. So what we as the union can do is to make sure that these particular workers get what is due to them, and we also intend on engaging with the Reserve Bank. You know government and the Reserve Bank need to come to the party to ensure that these workers are re-employed within the sector.”