The black radical movement, Black First Land First (BLF), which was at the forefront of bringing the CIEX report into national consciousness, has given ABSA CEO, Maria Ramos, an ultimatum to pay back the money it looted from the reserve bank during apartheid or risk a national shutdown of ABSA.
BLF President, Andile Mngxitama, has written a letter to Ramos notifying her of BLF’s intentions.
“I write this letter to put on record the intentions Black First Land First (BLF) have to speedily recover the money stolen from the people of South Africa and which your bank, ABSA, is a beneficiary,” Mngxitama says in the letter.
“It’s no longer a matter of speculation that ABSA has unduly and unlawfully benefited from the so-called “life boats” which were in fact a system of theft by the apartheid elites. The bottom line is that money was stolen and money must be returned,” he says.
The public protector, Busisiwe Mkhwebane released her findings on the CIEX report. She found that ABSA must pay over R1 billion which they benefited from apartheid “lifeboats” to its predecessor Bankorp.
Ramos, who is the wife of Trevor Manuel who works for the Rothschilds, put out a statement claiming the bank is not liable to pay back the money.
BLF has vowed to shutdown branches of the bank.
“BLF hereby demands that ABSA reconsider its position and pay back the money as per the public protector’s directive. An expressed public pronouncement by ABSA by Friday, 23 June 2017 is hereby demanded. Failure to do so shall trigger a national direct action by BLF which would include a daily protest at ABSA outlets that would lead a national shut down of ABSA.”
After an appearance at the Standing Committee on Land and Mineral Resources in parliament, BLF briefly occupied an ABSA branch in Adderley Street, Cape Town. Speaking at the closed down branch, Mngxitama said the disturbance was a warning to the bank and that similar occupations would occur nation wide.
This article first appeared in the Blackopinion