VBS Mutual Bank In the SpotLight
The bank which recently agreed to loan President Zuma R7.8 Million to pay for upgrades to his home has been hit by a Whistle-Blower scandal which accuses the bank (VBS) of lending millions to a company which the bank’s own Chairperson and COO have an interest in.
Though the bank’s COO and bank Chairperson have no previously declared interests in the company said to have made and application (and potentially been granted it) the whistle-blower attached supposed obvious proof thereof. It is a requirement that senior bank officers have to declare any such interest to avoid any conflict of interest or possible impropriety.
The supposed loan is to the healthy tune of R136 Million to buy a 54% interest in a big oil company. The Financial Services Board, press and Reserve Bank all received a dossier from an anonymous internal source showing all the facts and figures which makes many claims of impropriety and possible breaches of the NCA. They will now, no doubt, be forced to investigate further (possibly along with the NCR who regulate finance based on the National Credit Act).
Zuma Loan Questioned
It seems that the R7.8 Million loan to President Zuma is also being called into question and supposedly tied into a dynastic struggle over the vhaVenda throne.
Three different parties have claimed rights to the vhaVenda throne. The matter was even set before court in 2012 and is meant to be heard at court at the end of this year. In increasingly bold moves, President Zuma has backed the claim of vhaVenda King Mphephu Ramabulana.
Coronations and Court Cases
Recently, despite the legal battle, a planned official coronation of the King, by President Zuma was announced – just a few weeks before the court matter will finally be heard. The vhaVenda Princess and her Royal uncle (who also has claims to the throne) went back to court for an urgent interdict to prevent this from happening.
Ramabulana awards President Zuma the highest honour in the vhaVenda Kingdom, the King Makhado Bravery Award for the President’s role during the anti-Apartheid struggle (2013)
The King is a co-owner of Dyambeu Investments who hold a 26% stake in VBS Mutual Bank. This is the very same bank which shortly after the announcement of the planned coronation granted the massive R7.8Million loan to President Zuma.
Accusations possibly linking the planned coronation and bank loan have flown, particularly from prominent members of the vhaVenda Royal family such as Mbulaheni Mphephu. There have likewise been accusations that the bank has financed lavish birthday parties and more for the King.
VBS Mutual Deny R136 Million Loan
The bank’s spokesman has, despite the dossier provided with supposed evidence, strongly denied any such loan to Vele (the company who want to buy into the oil business and who supposedly are linked to the banks COO and Chairman).
The king’s spokesman has also come out strongly to state that the speculations about the link between coronation and loan are “absolute nonsense“. He stated that the debate over the succession had been going on for years and that the President went to the bank alone for the loan not along with the king. The timing of the planned coronation, he says, is a totally separate matter.
The President recently made his required payment to the Treasury in regard to his upgrades at his home in Nkandla.