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VBS scandal: 'Suspended SACP Limpopo secretary has chance to clear his name'

Gilbert Kganyago was suspended with immediate effect as the SACP's provincial secretary on Thursday.

VBS Mutual Bank in Thohoyandou. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Communist Party (SACP) in Limpopo says the suspension of former Capricorn District Municipality mayor Gilbert Kganyago will give him the opportunity to prove his innocence following allegations of his linkage to the VBS Mutual Bank looting scandal.

Kganyago was suspended with immediate effect as the SACP's provincial secretary on Thursday.

The municipality deposited R60 million in VBS bank in 2015 without following the municipal council’s approval.

Kganyago has denied his involvement in the scandal in the past, but the party says the provincial secretary now has the chance to provide evidence that supports his claims.

The SACP's Machike Thobejane said: “The municipality of Capricorn invested money in VBS illegally. Remember that he [Kganyago] is the head of the party in the province, he’s our face. Those two contradictions are making it impossible for the party to implement its programme of fighting against corruption. We felt that suspending him will allow him enough time to clear his name.”

Meanwhile, the SACP was once again linked to the VBS bank scandal, this time allegedly in exchange to remain silent on the bank's relationship with the controversial Gupta family.

The City Press reported on Sunday that a branch manager at VBS was ordered to make a R3 million payment to fund the SACP's national congress, but the SACP has denied this.

SACP spokesperson Alex Mashilo says they have no knowledge of this.

“I have never been at VBS or Vele Investments. I don’t know their internal shenanigans, I’ve never been part of them, neither has the SACP been part of those shenanigans.”

Additional reporting by Kgomotso Modise.

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