Dear Maria Ramos
I write this letter to put on record the intentions Black First Land First (BLF) have to speedily recover the money stolen from the people of South Africa and which your bank, ABSA, is a beneficiary. It’s no longer a matter of speculation that ABSA has unduly and unlawfully benefited from the so-called “life boats” which were in fact a system of theft by the apartheid elites. The bottom line is that money was stolen and money must be returned.
The report by Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane, puts forward the culpability of ABSA beyond any reasonable doubt. The view of our movement was from the beginning that ABSA was as guilty as charged. The weight of evidence was too overwhelming even to the most cynical among us.
BLF members have suffered arrests and have endured many nights of sleeping under the sky with the sole purpose of raising awareness and demanding action to be taken against the corruption involving R26 billion stolen from the South African Reserve Bank (SARB). We are not going to stop now to demand that ABSA must pay back the money nor are we going to tolerate any further delays.
BLF has seen your statement post the release of the public protector’s report. Your statement is tantamount to an arrogant and racist dismissal of the findings of the public protector. This does not surprise us at all. But, no arrogance of an unjust stand can assail the power of our ethical demand for justice and reparations.
Let’s make it clear to you, we are ready to suffer and sacrifice for ABSA to pay back the money.
BLF hereby demands that ABSA reconsider its position and pay back the money as per the public protector’s directive. An expressed public pronouncement by ABSA by Friday, 23 June 2017 is hereby demanded. Failure to do so shall trigger a national direct action by BLF which would include a daily protest at ABSA outlets that would lead a national shut down of ABSA.
Furthermore, BLF shall intensify the call for government to withdraw its accounts from ABSA.
We hope our expression on the matter has been plain and frank enough. BLF says ABSA pay back the money or run the risk of facing a national shut down.
Black First Land First (BLF)
21 June 2017