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Malema again calls out ‘bully banks’

EFF leader Julius Malema raises his hand while speaking in a microphone.

EFF commander in chief Julius Malema took to X (formerly known as Twitter) to post a message about his unhappiness about the banks. File Picture: Timothy Bernard African News Agency (ANA).

Published Oct 20, 2023


Durban - EFF leader Julius Malema has again raised the issue of the country’s banks being bullies, taking to social media to voice his displeasure and saying “they think they are all powerful”.

Malema on Wednesday took to X (formerly known as Twitter) to post: “But we should have two days of not banking against all banks in South Africa to show them the people’s power because they think they are all powerful against the people’s power.”

This prompted responses from those who follow Malema on the social media site, ranging from those who raised the VBS banking issue, and those who supported suggestions of alternative banking mechanisms to others who questioned whether this would achieve anything.

Parliament’s ethics committee recently found that there was no evidence that Malema had possibly breached the code of ethical conduct for failing to disclose interests in the now defunct VBS Mutual Bank.

However, the committee found that the party’s chief whip, Floyd Shivambu, had breached the code of conduct by not disclosing three payments totalling R180 000 that he received in 2017 via VBS from a company owned by his brother.

One response said: “The banking cartel in SA is the most corrupt organisation in the world”, while another said: “Our lives will stop. While many politicians have money under mattresses to keep them going”.

The EFF did not respond to requests for comments on what prompted Malema’s utterances, but he has in the past been critical of the country’s banking institutions.

In August Malema, in response to Standard Bank’s decision to shut down accounts belonging to Sekunjalo-related companies, including Independent Media, called for a mass mobilisation against the country’s banks.

The bank has attempted to close the accounts of South Africa’s largest newspaper group.

Last month, the Equality Court sitting in the Western Cape High Court interdicted Standard Bank from shutting down the accounts.

The bank cited reputational damage for wanting to end its relationship with Sekunjalo, which in turn has accused the financial institution of relying on unsubstantiated media reports to close its accounts.

The court’s ruling was the second victory for Sekunjalo after the bank was interdicted last year from closing the accounts.

Political analyst Professor Sipho Seepe said: “Malema has already campaigned and is mobilising a constituency that exists and who are aggrieved with the banking system. Banks are quick to execute repossession orders against poor black people when they could give them a chance.”