SACP lodges complaint with press ombudsman over VBS Bank claims by 'City Press'

The SACP has questioned the authenticity of a document published by the 'City Press' showing a payment made by a food services company through VBS Mutual Bank on behalf of the party.

FILE: The SACP's Solly Mapaila. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG – The South African Communist Party (SACP) has questioned the authenticity of a document published by the_ City Press_ showing a payment made by a food services company through VBS Mutual Bank on behalf of the party.

The paper reported that R3 million was paid by MML Food Services to the Birchwood Hotel on behalf of the SACP for their 2017 congress in exchange for silence on the bank's alleged relations with the Guptas.

The party has dismissed these claims as baseless and says an investigation was done by their finance department.

Last week, the SACP said an investigation by its finance department proved that the party never received a donation from VBS Bank or Vele Investments.

Now the party's Solly Mapaila says that at the time MML Food Services paid R3 million to Birchwood Hotel on behalf of the SACP as a donation, they were not aware of their relationship with VBS Bank.

“Although we did know that at some point some of the members that had engaged between the two organisations, we’ve had a relationship with VBS but we were not aware of their being part of VBS.”

Mapaila has also disputed the fact that MML Food Service is the bank's subsidiary.

“We wrote them a letter last week regarding the relationship and they just indicated that they’re not a subsidiary but they had a relationship with VBS in the sense that they were having some transactions.”

The SACP has lodged a complaint with the press ombudsman to disprove the allegations made by the City Press.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)