Mathabatha lambasts his detractors

Limpopo Premier Stanley Mathabatha on Friday hit out at his critics, who have accused his administration of being soft on corruption – particularly on the VBS Mutual Bank saga

Mathabatha said the government he leads made significant strides in tackling incidences of corruption, maladministration and poor governance.

“In the last audit cycle, we received two clean audit opinions. The number of unqualified audit opinions has also increased. However, we have noted that the issue of VBS would not easily go away given the intrinsic damage caused by the looting of the mutual bank,” Mathabatha said.

“Some will continue to use the matter as a sort of political football to advance interests that are not related to the urgency of good governance and the fight against corruption,” said Mathabatha.

“We will reiterate what we have done as government with regard to the matter. The
provincial government acted swiftly by sanctioning a forensic audit against the affected municipalities.

“The recommendations of this forensic audit have since been implemented. Affected mayors have been recalled.”

He further made a call for the Reserve Bank to issue a new mutual bank licence for the province or revive VBS.

The central bank said it held a meeting with chief Livhuwani Matsila and leaders of the shareholders’ forum of VBS last month, where it was agreed that there was a need for regular feedback to depositors and other affected parties about the liquidation process.

The South African Reserve Bank said: “The Reserve Bank again emphasised that VBS was in the process of being liquidated and that reinstating the banking licence was not an
option.

“The Reserve Bank also clarified the process and criteria for applying for a new banking licence. Any interest from the community to continue with traditional banking activities similar to those offered by VBS will be considered as part of a new banking licence
application.”

Another concern that Mathabatha and his executive tackled was the issue of alleged corruption at the Mogalakwena local municipality.

MEC for cooperative governance, housing and traditional affairs Basikopo Makamu said the state of affairs at the embattled Mogalakwena will be reviewed in six months.


The ANC in Limpopo has defended Mathabatha against calls by the governing party’s
alliance partner, Cosatu, that he step down for being soft on
corruption.

Cosatu in Limpopo resolved to call for the premier to resign after the trade union federation said Mathabatha failed to show leadership in fighting corruption in his administration.

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