Black First Land First (BLF) received a response to its letter of demand to ABSA yesterday morning from the ABSA CEO Maria Ramos. In the letter to ABSA; BLF had demanded that the bank comply fully with the remedial actions by the Public Protector advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane. ABSA was found by the Public Protector”s investigation to have benefited from apartheid corruption and must pay back R1.1 billion. This is a portion of the R26 Billion stolen from the South African Reserve Bank (SARB).
BLF is appalled by the ‘response’ of Maria Ramos to our letter. Ramos has no appreciation of the urgency and gravity of the situation. The findings of the Public Protector are binding and the evidence against ABSA is overwhelming. We have waited for almost 20 years for justice in this matter. ABSA wants to delay even further paying back the money. It wants to use its massive financial muscle to frustrate the process of justice and accounting.
BLF warns ABSA that its delaying tactics will do it no good in the criminal case opened against the bank for corruption on the same transgression it has been ordered to pay back the money for. BLF rejects the ‘response’ of Maria Ramos as a non response. Ramos must take the people of South Africa seriously and make sure that ABSA pays back the money pronto!
BLF will write to the shareholders of ABSA demanding that their bank pay back the money and comply with the remedial actions of the Public Protector. Furthermore, we have asked for a meeting with the Minister of Finance Malusi Gigaba. One of the issues to be raised with Gigaba is, when is government going to withdraw all its accounts from ABSA?
The BLF protest action will start Wednesday 28 June 2017 with pickets at select ABSA outlets in Johannesburg. Should ABSA not change its mind, BLF will hold a national picket on ABSA branches Saturday the 1st of July 2017. This is a start towards total shut down of strategic ABSA branches and offices. ABSA has been warned to pay back the money or face unending protest actions. The money was stolen and the money must be paid back. ABSA and others like Johann Rupert will pay back the money whether they like it or not. White monopoly capital corruption has gone on for far too long with impunity.
Issued by the National Coordinating Committee of Black First Land First (BLF NCC)
25 June 2017
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