News / South Africa

Austil Mathebula
3 minute read
16 Feb 2017
12:40 pm

Apologise to Zuma. ‘Evil banks’ and Absa ‘manipulated the rand’

Austil Mathebula

The BLF leader says the president is a 'little genius from Nkandla' who gets blamed unfairly for the rand's troubles.

Andile Mngxitama speaks to The Citizen in Rosebank, 14 September 2016. Picture: Neil McCartney

Leader of Black First Land First (BLF) Andile Mngxitama has called on those who once accused President Jacob Zuma of being behind the drop in the rand to apologise to him.

Mngxitama says the president was wrongfully blamed for affecting the rand, and “now we know it’s the evil banks which have been manipulating the rand for profits. Will they apologise to president Zuma? Fair is fair majents.”

The BLF leader wants government to withdraw all its accounts from Absa, one of the banks the Competition Commission found that, from at least 2007 “had a general agreement to collude on prices for bids, offers and bid-offer spreads for the spot trades in relation to currency trading involving US Dollar / Rand currency pair”.

He further commended Zuma, calling him a “political genius from Nkandla” who said during his state of the nationa address (Sona) the Competition Act was amended in 2016 to hold those responsible for ‘collusion’ criminally responsible.

“Are people going to say even the competition commission is Gupta agents? ABSA comes up yet again as one of the rogue banks. There are no any excuses why we can’t call for Barclays and other criminal banks to go.

“No reason why we can’t unite and demand government withdraw its accounts from ABSA. The only excuse now is that people can’t move because London won’t be happy. The uncaptured shall be going to the South African Reserve Bank Friday to demand accountability,” said Mngxitama.

“Zuma is a little political genius from Nkandla. Did you hear him on the SONA report that the Competition Act was amended in 2016 to hold those responsible for ‘collusion’ criminally responsible? Hehehe Zuma ke bosso! Banyele he is going nowhere… We just warming up. See you in Tshwalets go to the Reserve Bank.”

Furthermore, the commission also found that “the respondents manipulated the price of bids and offers through agreements to refrain from trading and creating fictitious bids and offers at particular times”.

The Commission has since referred the case to the Competition Tribunal for prosecution.

Meanwhile, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) say they will ask the Tribunal to discontinue banking and operating licences of banks implicated in the report of the Competition Commission.

“The EFF notes that the Competition Commission has referred this case to the Competition Tribunal, and we call on the Tribunal to impose maximum sanctions provided for in Competition legislation in South Africa. Furthermore, the EFF will write to the South African Reserve Bank to demand that the banking and operating licences of these banks must be discontinued immediately because we believe collusion around South Africa’s currency is treacherous and should be treated as such.”

The banks implicated in the Competition Commission include: Bank of America Merrill Lynch International Limited, BNP Paribas, JP Morgan Chase & Co, JP Morgan Chase Bank N.A, Investec Ltd, Standard New York Securities Inc., HSBC Bank Plc, Standard Chartered Bank, Credit Suisse Group, Standard Bank of South Africa Ltd, Commerzbank AG; Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited, Nomura International Plc., Macquarie Bank Limited, ABSA Bank Limited (ABSA), Barclays Capital Inc, and Barclays Bank plc.