The Vhavenda King's spokesperson, Adv Makonde Mathivha.
The Vhavenda king, Toni Mphephu-Ramabulana, is not going to step down because of the VBS scandal, the royal family said on Wednesday during a media briefing held at the royal palace at Dzanani.
Earlier this week, rumours were doing the rounds that members of the royal family had requested Mphephu-Ramabulana to stand down temporarily while the investigations into the shenanigans at the mutual bank continued. This was clearly not to be and instead, the royal family lashed out at individuals and political parties “hell bent on opportunistically hijacking the VBS crisis for their own ulterior motives and agendas.”
Executive members of the SA Communist Party (SACP) in Limpopo were specifically mentioned as a driving force behind the calls for the king to step down. The insinuation was also made that the executive members of the SACP of Vhavenda descent were using this scandal as a tool in the fight for the kingship.
During Wednesday’s press briefing, the royal family supported Mphephu-Ramabulana’s previous undertaking to pay back all funds “proven to have been received from people, structures, businesses, etc which was improperly or unlawfully taken from VBS.”
The report of advocate Terry Motau into the corruption and theft at VBS identified the Vhavenda king as one of the 53 “persons of interest” who directly and indirectly benefited from the fraud at VBS. The report states that Mphephu-Ramabulana had a loan account totalling almost R18 million that was “cleared” through general ledger entries, effectively using fictitious or non-existing funds to settle the debt.
The royal family announced that steps had been taken to try and ensure that all gifts or donations to the king were obtained lawfully. “There is no known record in the history of Vhavenda traditional leadership showing subjects offering stolen goods or gifts … We are in the process of instituting an advisor(y) board whose job will be to scrutinize all royal gifts.”
The commitment was also made to work with law enforcement agencies in the VBS investigation. “As to those who planned and implemented the stealing of VBS money the law must take its course,” the statement of the royal family reads.
Date:10 November 2018 - By: Kaizer Nengovhela
Kaizer Nengovhela started writing stories for Limpopo Mirror more than a decade ago, in 2 000. Prior to that he had a five year stint at Phala-Phala FM as sports presenter. In 2005 Kaizer received an award from the province's premier as Best Sports Presenter. The same year he was also nominated as Best Sports Reporter by the Makhado Municipality. Kaizer was awarded the Mathatha Tsedu award in 2014.