By BO Staff Writer
Around 1000 members of the Black First Land First (BLF) movement marched to the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) on Friday to demand the institution take action against ABSA bank, following the release of the Public Protector’s preliminary report into apartheid state looting.
Brief heavy rains in the start of the march didn’t deter BLF, which moved from Burgers Park in Tshwane, to the office of the Reserve Bank, making several stops along the way to speak to crowds of black people who gathered around the march.
“Black people, ABSA has your money. Let’s all work together to force them to pay,” BLF National Convenor, Andile Mngxitama said to the crowds.
The marchers saw an ABSA branch and charged straight for it, before the branches door were quickly shut.
There was heavy police presence as BLF approached the Reserve Bank.
“BLF calls on President Jacob Zuma to immediately release Minister Pravin Gordhan from his duties. The minister is compromised and coflicted by having shares in these banks,” Mngxitama said as he read the memorandum.
“We also call for the nationalisation of the Reserve Bank now! That’s the only way to ensure the South African economy is protected.”
A Reserve Bank official came down to meet the group. The rattled official signed the BLF memorandum.
BLF wants the Reserve Bank to help the Public Protector recover the money stolen by ABSA.
“It’s money for free education, and money to create employment for our youth in the townships,” said Mngxitama.
Read BLF’s full memoandum to the Reserve Bank below:
MEMORANDUM TO THE SOUTH AFRICAN RESERVE BANK (SARB)
17 FEBRUARY 2017
Black First Land First (BLF) is here today to demand economic justice from the South African Reserve Bank (SARB).
1. We note the mandate of the SARB which is to, amongst others to, “… to achieve and maintain price stability in the interest of balanced and sustainable economic growth in South Africa. Together with other institutions, it also plays a pivotal role in ensuring financial testability”.
2. We further note that SARB is the central bank of the country tasked to regulate and licence banks in South Africa.
3. We observe that more than R26 billion was stolen from the Reserve Bank by white monopoly capital.
4. We note with utter disgust that the Reserve Bank has been the stumbling block for blacks to start banks which are black owned.
5. We conclude that SARB has dismally failed to carry out its mandate and has become the main tool of white monopoly capital to maintain economic racism and colonialism.
6. We ask the SARB, after 23 years of democracy, where is one black owned bank?
7. We also further ask the Reserve Bank, why are they blocking the Habib bank from being licensed after the competition commission has given it the go ahead? Is it because the SARB wants to maintain white monopoly in the banking sector?
9. We ask why has the SARB done nothing about the R26 billion stolen from it by white monopoly capital?
10. We ask why is the SARB protecting ABSA instead of encouraging it to pay back the money as per the preliminary report of the public protector, Adv Busisiwe Mkhwebane?
11. We note with alarm the statement of the Governor of Reserve Bank, Leseja Kganyago, protecting ABSA – which is a beneficiary of theft from SARB. The governor is already absolving ABSA. He is reported to have said that he is still studying the report and has already found some errors.
“We’re checking it for factual accuracy, we’ve already spotted a number of errors. We’re going through the report with our lawyers and we’re grateful that the Public Protector has given us an extension.”
This is disturbing. It is clear that the SARB will be sending a response to the Public Protector in defence of ABSA instead of protecting the national assets.
12. We note the findings of the Competition Commission which further shows that the SARB has failed to protect the economy and the rand but is instead protecting the white owned banks which are a monopoly.
13. We note that the Minister responsible for Reserve Bank, Pravin Gordhan, has shares in the banks which have stolen from SARB and have been protected.
14. We further note it’s the same banks which have stolen from the people which demanded Gordhan be appointed as Minister of Finance in 2015. He has been protecting these banks.
15. We note that in December 2015 white monopoly capital conspired against the decision of President Jacob Zuma to appoint his preferred Minister of Finance. The banks then conspired to attack the rand, which led to the loss of more than R500 billion from the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), then blamed it on President Zuma. The SARB did nothing!
We have therefore concluded that the South African Reserve Bank leadership is not fit to govern and must go!
On the Competition commission findings:
Black First Land First (BLF) is vindicated yet again! The ruling of the Competition Commission on Wednesday confirms BLF’s conclusion that the white owned banks of South Africa are essentially a criminal gang which is law unto itself and protected by the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) and Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan.
BLF welcomes the findings of the Competition Commission. We are not surprised at all and believe all the banks operating in South Africa, including South African banks, are common criminal organizations.
The main mandate of the SARB is to protect the rand. It has failed to do so over an extended period of time. This is deliberate incompetency to protect the banks.
1. Governor of the Reserve Bank, Lesetja Kganyago, together with his deputy, Kuben Naidoo and Mogam Pillay, to show remorse; ask for forgiveness and resign Now! Or rhey must be fired!
2. BLF calls on President Jacob Zuma to immediately release Minister Pravin Gordhan from his duties. The minister is compromised and conflicted by having shares in these banks.
3. Minister Gordhan benefits directly from the proceeds of criminal activities of the banks. Pravin must go!
4. BLF calls on government to withdraw its accounts from all the implicated banks, ABSA in particular.
5. BLF welcomes the suggested “administrative penalty equal to 10%” of the implicated banks’ annual turnovers. However we believes this is too lenient. BLF calls for 100% annual turn over for quilty banks. This will be a deterrent to other rogues to refrain from criminal activity.
6. 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.
7. BLF calls for SARB to start criminal prosecution of all 17 banks:
The Banks are:
1. ABSA Bank Limited (ABSA)
2. Standard Bank of South Africa Ltd
3. Investec Ltd
4. Barclays Capital Inc,
5.Barclays Bank plc
6. BNP Paribas
7. Standard New York Securities Inc
8. HSBC Bank Plc
9. Standard Chartered Bank
10. Credit Suisse Group
11. Bank of America Merrill Lynch International Limited
12. Commerzbank AG
13. Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited
14. Nomura International Plc
15. Macquarie Bank Limited
16. JP Morgan Chase & Co
17. JP Morgan Chase Bank NA
8. BLF furthermore calls for all foreign owned banks found guilty to be prohibited from trading in South Africa after paying the penalty.
9. We call on President Zuma to institute a judicial commission of inquiry on banks without any further delays.
10. We also call for the nationalisation of the South African Reserve Bank now! That’s the only way to ensure the South African economy can be protected.
12. BLF also calls on banks; media and SARB to apologise to President Zuma who has been blamed for currency volatility when in fact these rogue banks have been manipulating the rand for their own gain.
13. BLF demands that SARB stop being the gate keeper of white bank’s and give licences to black bank’s NOW!
14. BLF demands that SARB give quarantee that in its expected response to the preliminary report of the public protector; it will not use its power and influence to try absolve ABSA from paying back the money. SARB must instead demand that ABSA pays back the money stolen from SARB.
BLF shall monitor the response of the Reserve Bank and shall make sure all attempts to cover up and protect ABSA and others who stole from the bank is exposed.
If SARB goes ahead with its plan to protect ABSA and other white owned banks, BLF shall take action against the SARB! We are here to give you a warning!
BLF expects that the Governor and his deputies shall resign out of their own good conscience after failing the country so badly.
If SARB doesn’t open criminal charges against the 17 banks identified by the Competition Commission within next five days, BLF shall itself open criminal charges against the rogue banks.
Well call on SARB to help us end corruption and help us recover the R26 billion! It’s money for free education and money to create employment for our youth in the townships.