Limpopo’s ANC deputy chairperson and MEC for the provincial Department of Transport and Community Safety, Florence Radzilani, says she will not be presenting herself before the party’s newly elected Integrity Commission (IC).
Despite the provincial ANC saying she must appear before the commission, Radzilani told African Times that she would not do so because her matter had already been dealt with by the same ethics body.
Radzilani is among ANC politicians and officials who have been instructed to appear before the IC for their alleged role in the VBS Mutual Bank scandal in line with a directive from the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC).
She has been implicated in dodgy transactions worth R300 million that took place between the Vhembe District Municipality, during her tenure as mayor, and the mutual bank.
Speaking to African Times, Radzilani confirmed that her legal battle to challenge the report was still ongoing, adding that her case had already been dealt with by the Commission.
“It is public knowledge that allegations levelled against me in the Terry Motau report have been processed by the ANC’s legitimate structures. Since it was a public matter, those structures informed the public.
“The PEC decision [for leaders to appear before the IC] never talked about those who have already appeared to re-appear before the Integrity Commission. With regard to my court case against the Prudential Authority, the matter is pending in court. Based on the sub judice rule, I am unable to comment until the matter is finalised,” Radzilani said.
Two weeks ago, the Limpopo ANC provincial executive committee (PEC) announced a resolution that all those implicated in the VBS scandal should subject themselves to the IC.
However, the PEC media statement on the issue was silent on Radzilani, who was implicated in the VBS report, compiled by Advocate Terry Motau.
When confronted about the discrepancy, ANC provincial spokesperson Jimmy Machaka said Radzilani was not being excluded from the list of comrades who must present themselves to the IC.
“The PEC directed all leaders of the ANC affected and implicated in relation to VBS to voluntarily approach the Integrity Commission to explain themselves and their role, the deputy chairperson included.
“It should be noted, however, that the deputy chairperson is not criminally charged by any law enforcement agency. Comrade Florence will not step aside pending appearance before the Integrity Commission,” said Machaka.
“She will remain an ANC leader and continue her duties in the provincial government. The only moment she will be required to step aside is if she is criminally charged or on the advice of the Integrity Commission.”
The PEC has further directed all municipalities that lost money in VBS’s infamous R2 billion “Great Bank Heist” to consider recovering the funds from “all implicated officials, including those who resigned.”
Limpopo’s South African Communist Party (SACP) said the call for those implicated in VBS to present themselves to the IC was unlikely to produce results.
“I think the PEC doesn’t have the courage to deal with this matter. They were supposed to give the comrades a deadline to appear before the IC as a matter of priority.
“The PEC only promised to take the VBS matter seriously as a way to save face before the ANC’s national working committee when it visited the province. The PEC is also trying to make the public believe they are doing something, but the reality is that they may not do anything before the 2024 elections,” said SACP provincial secretary Chuene Malebana.
Provincial secretary of the Confederation of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) Hangwani Mashao said they would watch the developments closely.
“COSATU has been consistent in calling for the thorough investigation and accountability of those involved in the VBS scandal. Our views are well-known and publicised. We will observe if the commitments are genuine and make the necessary comments in the assessment of progress,” said Mashao.
Radzilani resigned as mayor of the Vhembe District Municipality shortly after the VBS report implicated her in the pilfering of municipal budgets to fund the mutual bank.
Motau wrote that Radzilani had been accused of crying for “Christmas money” from a middleman who played a role in the questionable transactions.
Radzilani did not take the report lying down. Instead, she instituted a legal challenge, demanding that Motau pay her R38 million for defamation.
In 2018, the IC recommended that she step aside along with former Limpopo ANC treasurer Danny Msiza. After temporarily vacating office, the two were reinstated after the ANC’s NEC considered that Msiza had successfully challenged parts of Motau’s report in court.
However, Msiza was forced to step aside again after being criminally charged. Radzilani was later elected as the provincial ANC deputy chairperson and consequently appointed as a member of the provincial government cabinet.