The African National Congress (ANC) in Limpopo has denied trying to shield its deputy chairperson, Florence Radzilani, from facing the party’s newly appointed Integrity Commission (IC) for her alleged role in the VBS Mutual Bank scandal.
This week, the party’s Limpopo provincial executive committee (PEC) announced a resolution that all those implicated in the VBS scandal should subject themselves to the Integrity Commission.
“The PEC also expressed its displeasure about the manner in which some of the implicated officials from various municipalities, who resigned, were given golden handshakes.
“Some moved from one municipality to the another, despite the cloud hanging over their heads and this was done despite millions lost without recovery,” said the PEC in a statement.
However, the PEC statement was silent on Radzilani, who was implicated in dodgy transactions worth R300 million that took place between the Vhembe District Municipality, during her tenure as mayor, and the mutual bank.
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 commission.
“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 Intergrity Commission,” said Machaka.
Machaka added: “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.”
Radzilani, who is also MEC for the provincial Department of Transport and Community Safety, reigned as mayor of the Vhembe District Municipality shortly after the VBS report accused her of participating in the pilfering of municipal budgets to fund the mutual bank.
Advocate Terry Motau wrote that the Vhembe mayor was 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 battle, demanding that Motau pay her R38 million for defamation.
The politician was suspended from the party for two years but was reinstated after the ANC national executive committee considered that she had not been criminally charged.
Radzilani was later elected as the provincial deputy chairperson of the ANC and consequently appointed as a member of the provincial government cabinet.
Meanwhile, the ANC’s top structure has appointed new members of the IC to fast-track the party’s renewal process.