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Stand up against injustice: Help stop Standard Bank’s assault on your rights and media freedom

Standard Bank issued a notice saying it would close the business banking accounts of Independent Media and IOL by August 21. File Picture

Standard Bank issued a notice saying it would close the business banking accounts of Independent Media and IOL by August 21. File Picture

Published Aug 3, 2023


By Michael Mayalo, Chairman of Youth Business Chain

The news that Standard Bank has decided to shut down the accounts of Independent Media SA and IOL is not just another headline; it's a brutal assault on the very principles that our nation stands for.

This isn't just an attack on a media company; it's an attack on democracy, freedom of speech, and the basic human rights of every South African.

How have we reached a point where banks are permitted to wield such unrestrained power over the lives of ordinary people? They have become unchecked behemoths, trampling on the rights and freedoms of those they are supposed to serve.

A Stain on Our Democracy

Standard Bank's actions against Independent Media SA and IOL are an affront to all South Africans. These are not faceless entities; these are institutions that employ around 1600 people, supporting over 10,000 dependants. Real human beings whose livelihoods have been snatched away with the stroke of a pen.

Imagine the anxiety, the fear, the helplessness that these families must be feeling. Picture the children, the spouses, the extended families who are now staring at an uncertain future. The human cost is staggering, and the moral bankruptcy displayed by Standard Bank is unforgivable.

The Banks' Tyranny

But let's not delude ourselves into thinking this is an isolated incident. Every single day, countless South Africans are wronged by banks. Homes are repossessed, businesses are shuttered, dreams are shattered, and yet these financial giants continue to act with impunity.

Their arrogance, their absolute disregard for the common person, has festered for too long. They play with our lives as if we were mere pawns in their grand game, disposable and insignificant.

Rise, South Africa!

The time has come for all of us, each and every South African who has been wronged by the banks, to stand up. We must refuse to be cowed by their might, their wealth, or their influence.

We must rally together, raise our voices, and declare that enough is enough. We must demand accountability, transparency, and fairness. We must insist that a banking account, the very gateway to modern life, be recognised as a basic right and not a privilege to be granted or withdrawn at a whim.

The actions of Standard Bank are a symptom of a deeper malaise in our society. We have allowed banks to become untouchable, to act with brazen disregard for the people they are meant to serve.

We cannot let this continue. We must fight back, not just for Independent Media SA and IOL, but for every South African who has been trampled upon by these institutions.

Let us not be silent. The time for action is now. Let our outrage be our rallying cry. Together, we can take on the banks and reclaim our rights, our dignity, and our very identity as a nation.

Join this fight. Stand up, South Africa, for your future, for your children's future, and for the soul of our nation. It's time to show the banks that we will no longer be their victims.

* Michael Mayalo is Chairman of Youth Business Chain.

** The views expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of IOL or Independent Media.

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