EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu, already under fire in the VBS Mutual Bank scandal, seems to be embroiled in another scandal linked to a controversial businessman who is being investigated for his role in alleged impropriety at the Public Investment Corporation (PIC)
On Friday the Mail & Guardian reported that it had seen screenshots of text messages believed to be a conversation between Floyd and the businessman that suggest a direct link between the EFF deputy president and his brother Brian Shivambu’s business.
In those messages, Floyd provides Brian’s business account details to controversial PIC beneficiary Lawrence Mulaudzi. Mulaudzi is currently being investigated for a R300?000 request for payment to an alleged lover of PIC boss Dan Matjila.
The same account number provided by Floyd, registered in the name of Grand Azania, has been linked to the suspicious VBS Mutual Bank payments.
The Mail & Guardian reports that it has established that the account is one of several accounts submitted to Geoff Budlender, SC, as part of his investigation into impropriety at the PIC.
‘The enemy is attacking’
The whistleblower information is contained in a submission by UDM leader Bantu Holomisa to the commission.When contacted by the newspaper on Thursday Mulaudzi did not deny the contents of the text messages, and confirmed knowledge of the PIC investigation, saying he had made himself available for further questioning.
The Mail & Guardian also approached Floyd so he could clarify his role in Brian’s company and the text message to Mulaudzi.
Floyd responded by saying: “I don’t own Grand Azania. Please contact the owners of Grand Azania for what they do. I am not a signatory of Grand Azania account. I have not seen the report (submissions to Budlender) you say is the basis of your question about giving the account, and will patiently wait for it to be brought to my attention.”
On Thursday night, EFF president Julius Malema tweeted, “the enemy is attacking” in what appeared to be a reference to media reports implicating his deputy after the South African Reserve Bank released a report on VBS Mutual Bank, titled The Great Bank Heist, on Wednesday.
“Just finished the political induction of @EFFSouthAfrica NW province, now en route to see the man of the moment, my Deputy President, Commissar @FloydShivambu and our spokesperson Commissar @MbuyiseniNdlozi. Remain vigilant and focus fighters; the enemy is attacking,” he tweeted.
Floyd’s involvement in the VBS scandal came to light after the Daily Maverick reported on Thursday that his brother, Brian, allegedly received R16m from VBS – R10m of which allegedly went to the EFF deputy president, while the EFF received R1,3m.
‘Bombshell investigation report’
This is revealed in the bombshell investigation report compiled by advocate Terry Motau, which references Brian among a list of 27 individuals and companies that received the largest amounts of money from the bank in a “looting scheme” totalling R1,8bn, according to the report.
Brian denied the allegations in a statement issued on Thursday.
“Sgameka Projects does not have any working relationship with VBS Mutual Bank and has never received any payment from VBS Mutual Bank,” he said in a statement.
“I intend to legally pursue the owners of the VBS report for defamation of my character and that of my company as well as for the strain this report has caused to my family,” he said.
EFF chairperson Dali Mpofu also fobbed off attempts on Thursday to get comment from him about the revelations around Floyd.
“Have I had a discussion with him about what? No, why must…I received R20 from my sister yesterday, the EFF has not had a discussion about it. Why must we have a discussion about what family does?”
Mpofu told eNCA business reporter Dimakatso Thugwana.”But surely,” Thugwana protested, “the EFF must at least consider the report that he got R10m?”
“He received R10m from his brother? And the EFF must put this on its agenda? Floyd Shivambu received R10m from his brother, or 10c? Really,” said a dismissive Mpofu.
The EFF will host a press conference on Tuesday at its Braamfontein headquarters where it is assumed that the VBS Bank heist will be addressed.