Ina Opperman

By Ina Opperman

Business Journalist

Mbalula calls Rand manipulation ‘corruption’ and ‘criminal’

Mbalula kept referring to the economic damage to poor people despite Treasury saying earlier this was not the case.

Fikile Mbalula, secretary-general of the ANC, has called the alleged manipulation of the Rand ‘corruption’ and ‘criminal’ at a press conference at Luthuli House, saying “this egregious act against the South African populace cannot be left unpunished”.

He was addressing the media on issues in the domestic and geopolitical environment that included matters regarding the ANC’s debt to Ezulweni Investments for banners, Tuesday’s ANC meeting with Palestinian liberation organisations including Hamas and the manipulation of the Rand.

The ANC working committee thoroughly reviewed the report from the economic transformation committee concerning the manipulation of the Rand and resolved that this report must be presented at the forthcoming meeting of the NEC for a detailed analysis of the repercussions of the manipulation on the most vulnerable segment of our society, he said.

“The ANC reiterates its call for law enforcement agencies to act decisively and expediently in bringing criminal charges against those individuals and banking institutions implicated in manipulating the Rand. The people of South Africa rightfully demand and deserve justice. We insist on accountability from those who wilfully compromised our economy for their gains,” he said.

ALSO READ: Treasury concerned after bank admits to manipulating the Rand

Treasury said Rand manipulation not reasons for depreciating currency

This is despite National Treasury emphasising last week that the conduct that the banks are accused of would not have influenced the depreciating trend of the currency since 2013, as it is driven by broader changes in the global and domestic economy.

“The value of the currency today, which has depreciated against the dollar and the resulting impact on prices, should not be attributed to these instances of misconduct between 2007 and 2013,” Treasury said in a statement.

However, Mbalula said “the Rand manipulation was a crime of corruption and we must call things by their first names. Corruption in the private sector is still corruption and its consequences is just as severe”.

According to Mbalula the ANC wants the directors and executives of the implicated banks to face prosecution in their individual capacity and be held personally responsible for “the detriment they inflicted on our economy”.

He said this act is nothing short of a crime against the people of South Africa and that the fines the banks paid “pales in comparison to the damage wrought on our economy”. He added that “the full extent of this criminal manipulation of our currency, particularly its impact on the poorest among us, is yet to be fully realised and acknowledged”.

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