Black First Land First (BLF) will march to the South African Reserve Bank (SARB), in Tshwane, on Friday to demand that ABSA ‘pay back the money’. Earlier this year, the new Public Protector, Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane, indicated in her preliminary report, that ABSA had illegally benefitted, to the amount of R2.3 billion, from lifeboats obtained from SARB during the apartheid era.
On 28 January 2017, BLF held nationwide pickets at 50 ABSA outlets, kick-starting rolling protest action against ABSA. The movement states that it will intensify this campaign until ABSA pays back the money.
Pressure mounted for ABSA this week after the Competition Commission announced that it was referring 17 banks, including South Africa’s ABSA, Standard Bank, and Investec, to the Competition Tribunal for prosecution, after investigating a case of price fixing and market allocation in the trading of foreign currency involving the rand.
With respect to this Competition Commission probe, BLF has called for the resignation of the SARB Governor, Lesetja Kganyago and his two deputies, and said “the main mandate of the SARB is to protect the rand and it has failed to do so over an extended period of time. This is deliberate incompetency to protect the banks.”
The National Convenor of the BLF, Andile Mngxitama has also called for the nationalisation of SARB, saying that “this is the only way to ensure that the South African economy can be protected”.
– Weekly Expose staff reporter