Questions surround Samwu's R12m VBS loan as administration looms

The Labour Registrar wants municipal union Samwu to explain why it failed to repay a R12 million loan it received from VBS Mutual Bank but Samwu’s general secretary Simon Mathe insists the loan has been repaid.

FILE: Samwu members during a protest march. Picture: Samwu Facebook page

JOHANNESBURG - The Labour Registrar wants municipal union Samwu to explain why it failed to repay a R12 million loan it received from the now-defunct VBS Mutual Bank.

Advocate Lehlohonolo Molefe has applied to the Labour Court to have Samwu placed under administration over serious financial irregularities.

The union has been leading a public campaign calling for the sacking of municipal officials implicated in the so-called “bank heist” since rampant looting at the bank was exposed.

Almost R2 billion rand was stolen by the bank’s directors, senior executives and well-connected politicians.

Advocate Molefe says that Samwu did not honour the first repayment of R5 million which was expected by VBS in November 2017.

He says the default was not surprising because the union’s financial statements reflect it was insolvent, with its liabilities exceeding assets by R29.4 million.

But Samwu’s general secretary Simon Mathe insists that they have paid back the loan.

"That is why even the curator of VBS is not complaining because that loan has been serviced through debit [order]. That's why I'm saying that the registrar is just politicking."

Samwu has often staged protests in municipalities across the country demanding accountability from government officials.