VBS heist: Malema linked to another company that had a VBS loan – report

More revelations is coming out to the fore, as the VBS saga assumes more dramatic twist.

A “fraudulent” application for a home loan with the defunct VBS Mutual Bank has reportedly cast light on a slush fund, allegedly used to channel money to the EFF or its leader, Julius Malema.

According to the Sunday Times, the investigation into VBS and the money that was looted from the bank has led to the discovery of a bond application and a company linked to Malema’s cousin, Phumi “Jimmy” Matlebyane.

The newspaper reported that Matlebyane is the director of a company called Santaclara Trading that received deposits totalling millions of rand from Malema’s lawyer, and other companies doing work for the Limpopo government and the EFF.

It is alleged that Malema’s attorney Ian Levitt appears to have deposited R300 000 into the account in March 2017 alone. Grand Azania, a company linked to EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu, reportedly deposited R500 000 to Santaclara.

Levitt declined to comment on the payments.

Daily Maverick previously reported that Grand Azania received R6.16m from VBS Mutual Bank and R8.74m from other dubious sources.

“However, an analysis of the flow of funds into Grand Azania, shows it paid R500 000 to Santaclara. This would suggest that money from VBS – which folded after being looted out of almost R2bn at the expense of poor account-holders and struggling municipalities – found its way into Malema’s or the EFF’s hands through Santaclara,” the report said.

In total, just over R4m in payments into Santaclara’s account have been flagged as “concerning” in an accompanying analysis of the statements, the Sunday Times reported.

Malema denied having any relationship with Santaclara but confirmed Matlebyane is his cousin. He also reportedly said that the Sunday Times wanted to destroy a legitimate business because of its association with the leader of the red berets.

According to the report, Matlebyane applied for a bond to buy a four-bedroom, four-bathroom house for R3.2m in a gated complex in the upmarket Polokwane suburb of Bendor in October 2017.

He initially listed his income as R5 000 per month with R2 400 as his monthly expenses, but then later amended the loan application, stating that he had a monthly income of R154 999.

Santaclara was put on the radar because another one of Malema’s cousins, Phaleng Matsobane, who is the director of Mahuna Investments, emailed the bond application to a VBS manager.

AmaBhungane previously reported that Mahuna Investments was paid alleged kickbacks by a fleet management company, just before it won a R1.2bn contract from the City of Johannesburg.

The same company also allegedly paid around R150 000 to Santaclara in October 2018, the report stated.

EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi confirmed to the Sunday Times that the party deposited money into Santaclara’s account for services rendered.

“The company is one of our service providers and we use it from time to time for things like posters, sound hire and events management among other things. We once used it as a proxy to register one of our vehicles and car rentals,” Ndlozi told the paper.

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