Finance Minister Tito Mboweni was happy to promote a new restaurant along Soweto’s famous Vilakazi Street on Monday – until investigative journalist Pauli van Wyk had something to say about it.
In a post on Twitter, Mboweni shared a picture of SUD restaurant along with the caption, “There is a new restaurant on Vilakazi Street. Check it out next time. Kuthi huu!!”
However, van Wyk, who writes for Daily Maverick‘s Scorpio, retweeted Mboweni’s post with a claim that the restaurant was bought with “stolen” money from the collapsed VBS Mutual Bank.
‘I will soon show how’
She wrote, “Millions in stolen #VBS money bought this restaurant. I will soon show how and how much.
“Support it and promote it, minister @tito_mboweni, because our mothers and grandmothers and orphans funded it with pension money robbed from them.”
The restaurant’s website lists Tsholo Malema, said to be Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema’s cousin, as its manager.
A Sunday Times report in November last year claimed Santaclara Trading, a company reportedly registered in another Malema cousin Jimmy Matlebyane’s name, channeled funds to SUD restaurant’s bank account.
According to the publication, Tsholo Malema denied knowledge of SUD receiving funds from Santaclara.
The report further claimed Santaclara received about R4 million in “suspicious” payments in just seven months and channeled the funds to different entities.
The payments reportedly came from companies that had allegedly “looted” from VBS, companies that had done business with the Limpopo provincial government, and EFF’s lawyers, the report claimed.
On Tuesday, Malema, who had earlier “liked” Mboweni’s tweet, retweeted two posts by parody account @AdvoBarryRoux that criticised van Wyk’s latest claim.
One of the tweets said, “Pauli van Wyk’s role as a so called journalist is just to destruct [sic] people from focusing on Pravin Gordhan by coming with stories of money channel of VBS and disappear again.”
The second one stated, “So every time Pravin Gordhan is roughly handled by the EFF, Pauli van Wyk goes to the propaganda headquarters preparing more graphs linking Julius Malema and VBS.”