Tag: EFF

Did the banks collude with the Guptas?

Source: The Citizen 

The EFF has criticised South Africa’s major banks, calling them opportunistic and hypocritical “in their testimony given to the state capture inquiry”.

Standard Bank’s retired head of legal testified at the inquiry on Monday giving reasons that led the bank deciding to close the business accounts of the controversial Gupta family.

Former FirstRand Group – which First National Bank (FNB) is a division of – chief executive officer (CEO) Johan Burger is testifying at the commission today.

“These banks were very happy to do business with the Guptas until the unceremonious December 2015 removal of Nhlanhla Nene as finance minister when South African stocks were severely devalued,” the EFF said in a statement.

The red berets added that by the time of Nene’s axing, the Guptas and former president Jacob Zuma – who are commonly referred to as the Zuptas – were already carrying out corrupt activities “facilitated by the very same banks”.

The EFF said: “It is impossible that the banks only started to notice the suspicious transactions of the Guptas and their companies in 2016 as they now want us to believe.

“The truth is that these banks colluded in the looting of the country for as long as it was feeding into their profit maximisation motives and greed. These are the only driving forces behind the commercial banks. For them, it’s profit before people and the country.”

The party said it hopes the chair of the commission Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo would not be fooled by the testimony of the banks.

“We call on the South African Reserve Bank (Sarb) and the Financial Intelligence Centre to launch a separate probe into the complicity of South African banks in the Gupta state capture and why they turned a blind eye towards an obviously suspicious transactions before 2016 and to hold them accountable for their part in state capture,” the EFF said.

The party added that if the Sarb fails to institute such a probe the party would take it upon itself to initiate a parliamentary probe into the matter.

Meanwhile, Burger testified on Tuesday that FNB had closed the accounts of the Guptas due to associated reputational and business risks.

In 24 years, the ruling party has failed to adequately address the issues of land redistribution and expropriation. In an effort to right these wrongs, President Cyril Ramaphosa backed a motion tabled by the EFF that called for a constitutional amendment for land expropriation without compensation, even as the governing party’s amendments effectively watered down the original opposition motion.

However, the question of land reform is not one easily addressed.

“People are incredibly desperate to get a permanent place to stay and it comes with a history of requiring land,” says Lizette Lancaster from the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) in an article by News24.

She says the trend from 2013 to 2018 showed that at least 70 protests related to land invasion had turned violent.

The desperation felt by many is used as a political too to increase supporters or stir up anger against the opposition.

According to News 24, an attempted landgrab in the coastal town of Hermanus in the Western Cape on Monday turned violent, following a tense standoff with groups of protesters and police, Marchers sett a recycling plant and a police station alight, stoned cars and demolished buildings. Police used teargas and rubber bullets to disperse the crowd.

Land invasions are increasing

Since the start of the year, more than 10 areas across the country have been invaded, says News24. Earlier this month, areas north of Johannesburg, including Olievenhoutbosch, Blue Hills and Waterfall were invaded.

Image credit: News24

Other areas targeted in Gauteng included Marlboro, Alexandra, the Golden Highway near Eldorado Park, Weilers Farm, Orange Farm Extension 10 and East Lynne.
The Western Cape has also experienced invasions in Dunoon and Gugulethu.

Parliamentary debate

Parliament is due to debate the issue of expropriation of land without compensation in August, after an amended EFF motion was passed to review section 25 of the Constitution.

However, according to News24, Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane has indicated that she is preparing for a test case to expropriate land without compensation. “We cannot wait for Parliament,” she says.

The red flags

According to News24:

South Africans who own land are also wary of the arbitrary loss of land if the review leads to changes that would allow government to unilaterally claim land in the name of expropriation.

Possible conflation of land and general property is also a concern.

Banks and financial institutions, meanwhile, are concerned about what will happen to if their clients default on property loans.

With its history as an advanced and sophisticated economy on the continent, SA has a great deal of exposure to the Western economy, whose political elite have already reacted to the motion with concern.

The fear is that full scale land grabs would wreak untold damage on an already vulnerable and underperforming South African economy.

The international investor community is sure to want their investments in SA protected. While investors are not yet too alarmed by comparisons to Zimbabwe’s land grabs, some in the international community ate preparing for the worst.

Source: News24

The ANC says it is confident that its wooing of the EFF to support its motion of no confidence against City of Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba and DA speaker Vasco da Gama will yield results, after the EFF expressed regret over backing the mayor.

ANC Johannesburg spokesperson Jolidee Matongo told News24 that ANC provincial chair Paul Mashatile has been handling the talks with the EFF’s national leadership in the party’s attempt to oust Mashaba.

He has acknowledged that the ANC will need the EFF to back the motion this week.

“We think they may support us to remove Mashaba but they may not support us to bring the ANC back in power, but it’s a discussion we are prepared to have with the EFF at the right time,” Matongo said.

The talks are expected continue until just before the motion, Matongo said.

The Johannesburg council is set to sit on Wednesday and Thursday, with the ANC pushing for the motion against Mashaba to be heard on Wednesday. However, the DA wants the debate heard on Thursday.

‘Revolutionary forces should join hands’

The ANC has been buoyed by Malema’s recent comments at the Daily Maverick’s The Gathering that the EFF “made a mistake backing Mashaba”.

He said when faced with a choice between an “ANC mayor with a history of immediate corruption and a mayor of the DA who has no history of anything except selling hair products, you are bound to try the hair product man”, the Business Day reported.

Matongo said the comments were a sign that the EFF could back the ANC in council.

“We are confident, having listened to the EFF and read their seven cardinal pillars and everything they stand for and, given the situation in Joburg, [that] all revolutionary and democratic forces should join hands and take Mashaba out of office,” he said.

The ANC currently has 119 councillors in the 270-seat council. It said it already had the support of the Patriotic Alliance, with one seat, and the African Independent Congress, with four.

However, it will need the EFF’s 30 seats to secure a simple majority to remove Mashaba.

Matongo said talks with other smaller parties, including the IFP, were also in progress.

Attempts to reach the EFF were unsuccessful.

‘ANC incredibly nervous’

The DA sent out an email to supporters titled “We could lose Jozi”.

The party, which has 104 seats, has dismissed the motion as “frivolous and a diversion” by the ANC from claims by the DA that it has uncovered fraud and corruption amounting to up to R12bn since taking over the municipality from the ANC in 2016.

Mashaba’s spokesperson Luyanda Mfeka said the party was not worried about the motion.

“The sheer number of corruption investigations has made the ANC incredibly nervous,” he said explaining that the party was now doing everything in its power to remove Mashaba from office.

“I can’t speak for the EFF, but they have been on record on their opinion of ANC and their record of corruption… we can’t imagine them voting with the ANC,” he said.

The ANC and DA have been in public spats over allegations that the city’s finances are in the red, with the ANC claiming that the metro is on the “brink of collapse”.

The ANC claims that the DA has failed to provide proof of the multi-billion rand corruption it claims to have uncovered and is instead using the claims to tarnish the ANC’s image ahead of the 2019 elections which are expected to be hard-fought.

“They don’t have a plan for the city but paint the ANC with the brush of corruption so that when we go to 2019 they can say the ANC has a corrupt administration,” Matongo said.

The DA has, in turn, dismissed claims that the city is on the brink of collapse, blaming the city’s financial challenges on projects it inherited from the ANC government.

By Mahlatse Mahlase for News24

EFF calls for the nationalisation of our banks

If Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema has his way, a “Banks Ownership Act” would be passed by Parliament, ensuring the State nationalise commercial banks in South Africa without compensation.

Introducing a debate on the issue in the National Assembly on Tuesday, Malema said: “There are no banks in South Africa that have meaningful ownership by black people”.

Malema said his party’s manifesto appreciates other forms of ownership are not excluded — including ownership by private individuals, the State and pension funds.

No single investor will own more than ten percent, he said.

“Our view is that the State ownership should be prioritised but should not completely close out other forms of ownership,” the fiery EFF leader said.

“This model of combined ownership, anchored by the State, makes sure banks are democratised…”

The ruling African National Congress (ANC) rejected Malema’s proposal.

ANC Member of Parliament (MP) Adrian Williams said banks would not just surrender their money.

“They are going to force this government to pay back the money,” Williams said.

“South Africa does not exist in a vacuum. When it comes to international finance we are just a cog in the capitalist wheel.”

He cited various examples where the State took over the ownership of banks and failed.

Williams said government would also assume the liabilities and debt, which would have an impact on the fiscus, and would result in poor South Africans and not the rich suffering.

The Banking Association of South Africa (BASA) also responded, saying the National Assembly entertaining the debate was “alarming”.

“Any nationalisation of banks will have a direct impact on stability, and will seriously undermine what fragile levels of confidence remain in our economy and society,” BASA said in a statement.

“We cannot allow ourselves to be in a position where we are further undermining the competitive positions that remain because of political expedience.”

BASA called on Treasury to provide certainty about its policy position regarding banks.

By Chantall Presence for IOL 

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