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EFF's Malema denies link to stolen VBS millions

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema was responding to reports by the Daily Maverick's investigative unit Scorpion, that more than R5 million was channeled from VBS Bank into an account the red beret leader used as a slush fund.

FILE: EFF leader Julius Malema addresses media on 2 July 2019. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN

PRETORIA - Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema has denied any link to funds stolen from VBS Mutual Bank and rejected the allegations that his lifestyle was funded by the proceeds of crime.

Malema responded on Monday to reports by the Daily Maverick's investigative unit Scorpio that more than R5 million was channeled from VBS Bank into an account the red beret leader used as a slush fund.

"That has got nothing to do with me," he told Eyewitness News.

The Reserve Bank placed VBS under curatorship in March last year, while several of the bank’s former directors have recently been sequestrated.

Designers suits, hotel stays, expensive liquor and even school fees: these are just some of the expenses being directly linked to Malema.

But the evidence uncovered by Scorpio revealed that these expenses weren’t being paid for by Malema’s Member of Parliament salary but could instead be traced back to the millions looted from VBS.

The red beret leader’s card purchases in 2017 and 2018 were linked to an account called Mahuma Investments, a company registered to his cousin Matsobane Phaleng.

The money trails showed how more than R16 million of VBS funds were paid into Sgameka Projects, the company of the EFF’s Floyd Shivambu’s brother before funds were transferred to Mahuma.

Records showed that neither of the companies paid taxes or performed any work.

Malema has previously denied knowledge of or any link to Mahuma Investments. However, he did not respond to Scorpio’s request for comment last week.