By BO Staff Writer
The Black Consciousness revolutionary movement, Black First Land First (BLF) held nationwide pickets yesterday against ABSA.
The pickets were aimed firstly at raising awareness about how ABSA unlawfully gained from certain apartheid “life boats”. Secondly, the aim was to launch the movement’s rolling protest action against ABSA to force it to pay back the money.
The pickets were held at 50 ABSA outlets nationally. BLF expressed great satisfaction with its execution of the numerous pickets. Moreover it has announced intensification of its protest action against ABSA until it pays back the money.
At least five ABSA branches were forced to shut down as a result of the protest action; two branches in Polokwane, one branch in Tshwane and two branches in Johannesburg were shut down.
BLF vowed to continue its protest against ABSA. The movement says the next action is planned for February 17 to the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) in Tshwane, after which national shutdown of ABSA branches shall follow.
BLF’s National Convener, Andile Mngxitama said, “[t]he South African Reserve Bank has not done anything to protect the national assets stolen by white capital and its successive governors have defended white capital.”
He further elaborated, “[t]he current leadership of the Reserve Bank is beholded to the white owned banks and capital and therefore there is little reason to think that they will cooperate with the Public Protector in a manner that would help to return our stolen billions!”
Mngxitama then urged all, individuals and other entities, to join the revolutionary movement towards achieving its objective.
“BLF calls on all revolutionary and progressive people’s organizations, churches, trade unions, student movements to join forces against white settler monopoly capital which is the real enemy of black people,” said Mngxitama.
BLF has vowed to make sure ABSA doesn’t continue business as usual. It further noted the shelving of value by the major shareholder of ABSA – Barclays. BLF has been calling on Barclays to do the right thing and compel ABSA to pay back the money. As things stand, Barclays Bank stands accused of unlawfully gaining from stealing from the people of South Africa.
The nationwide pickets of BLF trended the whole day under #ABSApicket28Jan, showing widespread interest in the demand that ABSA must pay back the money!
“ABSA has nowhere to hide,” said the organisation.
Depending on what ABSA does, it looks like the said bank will be a site of protest for the foreseeable future. BLF has promised to return to the bank until the money is paid.