Numsa general secretary Irvin Jim. Picture: BHEKIKHAYA MABASO: BHEKIKHAYA MABASO
Numsa general secretary Irvin Jim. Picture: BHEKIKHAYA MABASO: BHEKIKHAYA MABASO

Numsa joins AYO in court battle against banks targeting black-owned businesses, while unions picket in Sandton

By Ntombi Nkosi Time of article published Apr 29, 2021

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Johannesburg - The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) is set to join technology investment company AYO Technologies in its urgent application at the South Gauteng High Court on Thursday.

The company seeks to apply for an urgent interdict restraining FNB from de-activating or closing its banking facilities.

“Numsa will be joining this application as amicus curiae (friend of the court). FNB has given AYO until 3 May to find a new bank, otherwise it will close the company’s transactional facilities. We must not view the decision taken by both FNB and Absa as guided by morality, principles or ethics,” Numsa spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi-Majola said.

She said the banks had taken a position on the factional battles in the governing ANC.

“Dr Iqbal Survé, chairman of the Sekunjalo group, has angered the faction of capital sympathetic to President Cyril Ramaphosa, because Survé is perceived to be a supporter of the Zuma faction of the ANC.

“FNB and Absa have taken sides in this battle and are attempting to drive Survé out of business as a result. Furthermore, these banks are shareholders in white ICT companies and it is in their interests to collapse a black-owned competitor.

Picture: Supplied

“We have no interest in choosing between Zuma or Ramaphosa. Both are devils who betrayed the working class at the altar of neo-liberalism and capitalism, which is why, in 2013, we took the decision to reject the ANC and we actively established the formation of a party for the working class, the SRWP (Socialist Revolutionary Workers Party),” said Hlubi-Majola.

Meanwhile, several unions are expected to join the SA National Civic Organisation, Transform SA and other partners in a march to protest against racist banks in Sandton today.

The South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) condemned the selective morality of Absa and FNB who are seemingly abusing their power as banking oligarchs to target political opponents and competitors.

Without any engagement, the two large banks are said to have given AYO Technology Solutions, notice to terminate banking services on May 3, 2021.

AYO Technology is linked to Sekunjalo Holdings, which is a black investment holding that has business interests in the information communication technologies (ICT) sector.

FNB’s announcement comes a month after Absa severed services to all business enterprises linked to Sekunjalo Holdings.

“What is baffling is that these banking institutions have not taken the public into confidence as to why it is taking such drastic steps. The reasons paddled so far are not convincing,” said Saftu general-secretary Zwelinzima Vavi.

“Absa highlighted that it would suffer reputational damage in its continued association with Sekunjalo Holdings in the alleged looting of the Public Investment Corporation (PIC).

“Saftu will not defend Sekunjalo should they be found to be on the wrong side of the law. If the law enforcement agency take the matters arising from the PIC inquiry to the court, Saftu will applaud and demand that they, like anyone else, are held accountable. At this moment, Sekunjalo has not been charged in any court of law.

“The company has denied all allegations and pointed out that this was a plot by the big white capitalists trying to suffocate a black-owned company. In addition to this, the Black Business Chamber has condemned this, citing that FNB and Absa are shareholders in white-owned ICT companies.

“In other words, their attacks on Sekunjalo business group could be motivated by the need to drive competitors out of business. Saftu is calling on the banks to be consistent.”

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Political Bureau

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