News / South Africa

Austil Mathebula
2 minute read
16 Feb 2017
2:21 pm

DA slates ANC for ‘prejudging’ Absa and co’s Tribunal case

Austil Mathebula

The party says it 'takes collusion very seriously', but is concerned about Cabinet's 'cabal' who are clustered around 'Gupta lackey' Zwane.

Michael Cardo of the DA.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has come out to criticise the ANC for allegedly prejudging the outcome of the Competition Tribunal’s case against 17 banks.

The Competition Commission announced on Wednesday that “from at least 2007, the Banks 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. Further, the Commission 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 referred the case to the Competition Tribunal for prosecution.

In response, the ANC said in a statement that “the profit-driven assault on the South African rand through such collusion and corruption by the banks flies in the face of efforts by the South African nation to prosperity for all”.

This did not sit well with the DA, who are calling on the ANC to give the Tribunal a chance to do its work.

The DA says although it “takes collusion very seriously”, “the ANC has prejudged the outcome of the case, accusing the banks of a ‘profit-driven assault’ on the rand, fuelled by ‘nefarious agendas’ and ‘politically motivated intentions'”.

“The fact is that there is a cabal of ANC ministers in Cabinet, clustered around the Gupta-lackey, Mosebenzi Zwane, that wants to do battle with the banks, regardless of the economic fallout. And it was clear from President Zuma’s State of the Nation Address last week that he intends using the competition authorities as a tool of his populist and destructive agenda of ‘radical economic transformation’.

“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. However, it found scope for the improvement in overall market conduct and made several recommendations in this regard.

“Although the scope of the Competition Tribunal’s hearings will be broader, hopefully they will serve to bolster the SARB’s recommendations and give them renewed impetus.”