florence radzilani responding to VBS scandal in October 2018

Footage of Florence Radzilani taken in her office / Twitter: @ZikhonaTshona

ANC Limpopo branches demand reinstatement of VBS-linked officials

The party’s branch members picketed outside the provincial headquarters, to hand over a memorandum of grievances regarding the axing of Radzilani and Msiza.

florence radzilani responding to VBS scandal in October 2018

Footage of Florence Radzilani taken in her office / Twitter: @ZikhonaTshona

ANC members in Limpopo took to the streets, on Thursday, demanding the reinstatement of Florence Radzilani and Danny Msiza.

ANC Limpopo: Why Radzilani and Msiza were dropped from PEC

The display of the picketing that took place outside the ANC’s provincial headquarters was indicative of the divisions that have tarnished the party’s morale in Limpopo.

Factions of the party — particularly from Peter Mokaba Region — gathered at the Frans Mohlala House, in Polokwane, to voice out their disgruntlement with the party’s decision to remove Radzilani and Msiza from the Provincial Executive Committee (PEC).

Radzilani, who was the provincial deputy chairperson and Msiza, Limpopo’s treasurer, was removed from the leadership structures of the ANC after mounting pressure forced the party’s higher-ups to act on allegations linking the pair to the VBS Mutual Bank saga.

Msiza was forced to step down in December 2018 after court papers filed against the embattled cadre showed how he may have personally benefitted from the VBS looting that has since been termed the Great Bank Heist.

The accusation against Msiza involves a shoddy R9.5-million mortgage loan he obtained — using a company owned by him and his wife — from the now-defunct bank.

Radzilani, on the other hand, has taken a firmer approach to her troubles regarding her association with the VBS scandal. A former Vhembe Municipality Mayor, Radzilani was implicated in the VBS scandal through a string of WhatsApp texts that were allegedly exchanged between Kabelo Matsepe and Tshifhiwa Matodzi, the bank’s former chairperson.

She has filed a defamation lawsuit against Terry Motau, the investigator who uncovered the R2-billion scandal, for claiming that she had cried over a R300 000 hush payment.

Party leadership accepts memorandum

Pressured to take on a corrective approach to the situation, the ANC in Limpopo decided to remove the two high-ranking officials from the PEC, one of the party’s highest decision-making bodies.

However, since their removal earlier in the year, ANC branches in the province have questioned why no further action has been taken against the pair.

“We call for the ANC to allow our members to come back to the office for the simple reason that since they were told to vacate the office the party has never charged them, despite the fact that the integrity committee is saying that they brought the organisation into disrepute.

“What we are saying is that in terms of the constitution of the ANC, if any members committed misconduct the party have a period of six months to take that member through a disciplinary process,” Jimmy Machaka, the spokesperson of the ANC’s Peter Mokaba branch, stated.

Outside the party’s headquarters, ANC Limpopo’s chairperson, Stan Mathabatha, accepted the memorandum of grievances from the party members, vowing to convene a meeting over the issue with the ANC leadership as soon as possible.

The protesting branch members have called out the ANC’s hypocrisy in acting decisively on Radzilani and Msiza, on the basis of a report, and ignoring other officials who were also fingered.

“The worst case scenario is the KZN one where the deputy chairperson of the ANC, comrade Mabuyakhulu is criminally charged but he has not been subjected to vacate office,” Machaka said.