By BO Staff Writer
Seventeen banks, which have been implicated in a corruption scandal involving fixing the prices of the rand, are a “criminal gang” which is “protected by the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) and Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan”, the Black First Land First (BLF) movement said in a statement this morning.
The movement was reacting to the Competition Commission’s findings that banks, including South Africa’s ABSA, Standard Bank and Investec, were manipulating foreign currency trades. The Commission has now referred the matter to the Competition Tribunal for prosecution.
Speaking on Radio 702 this afternoon, Commissioner, Tembinkosi Bonakele said the case against the banks was “solid”.
“BLF asks the Competition Commission to recommend that 50% of the penalties received from the guilty banks, be allocated for free quality decolonised education and for creating employment for the black youth,” BLF said. “BLF furthermore calls for all foreign owned banks found guilty to be prohibited from trading in South Africa after paying the penalty.”
BLF will march to SARB tomorrow.
Meanwhile, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) released a statement which omitted ABSA and Barclays from the list of banks to be prosecuted. Twitter users, who screengrabbed the statement, said the mysterious omission was due to the EFF’s commitment to shielding ABSA and their London handlers from scrutiny.
— Sediko Rakolote (@SedikoR) February 15, 2017
The EFF, caught with their pants down, later added the bank. They say they will be writing to the Reserve Bank demanding operation licenses of the banks be revoked.
Typically, the racist white party, Democratic Alliance (DA) downplayed the issue, standing on the side of white capital as usual. The party said the timing of the price-fixing case seemed suspicious and that the African National Congress (ANC) “wants to do battle with the banks, regardless of the economic fallout.”
“A recent investigation by the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) and the Financial Services Board into the foreign exchange operations of authorised foreign exchange dealers in the domestic market found no evidence of serious and widespread misconduct,” they said.
The party of white racists, which has gone into a political coalition with EFF in key metros, seems to be discrediting the work of the Competition Commission.
The ruling party, ANC, said the findings by the Commission “have crudely exposed the ethical crisis in the South African banking sector.”
ANC spokesperson, Zizi Kodwa said in a statement, the ANC “calls for the Competitions Tribunal to level against the banks the harshest possible sanction where they are found guilty.”