FNB CEO Jacques Celliers. He’s also the man who authorised wiping-off the money owed to the bank by now DA Cllr Simon Lapping. Lapping approached FNB to complain about unauthorised debit orders and being harassed for the monthly repayments of R400 pm he owed to the bank. Instead of a payment plan he was rewarded with almost R160,000. The money he owed on his credit card, overdraft facility and home loan were wiped off and he was instead paid R3500 for closing his credit card account and he was paid R150 000 for a bond of R125000, leaving him with about R30000 money to spare…..http://uncensoredopinion.co.za/fnb-gags-now-da-councillor-simon-lapping-threatens-reinstate-r100k-bond-speaks/
Those of you who are regular readers of this platform would know very well the story of how First National Bank (FNB) has ripped off their Black low cost housing clients by charging them more in interest rates. This bank has at times charged them way above the prime rate in violation of the Usury Act. These are clients it inherited when it bought the Saambou low cost mortgage book when it went bankrupt in 2002.
This is but one of the links to the story, the others can be accessed through the search engine. Use FNB as the key word.
After numerous postponements, the matter was finally scheduled for hearing in November but has now been postponed to August this year. We’ve written extensively about FNB’s delaying tactics. If the bank wasn’t questioning the jurisdiction of the case being held in the Western Cape, it questioned the legitimacy of witnesses and the complainants’ expert report. Despite claiming that it wasn’t ready to go to court as it was finalising its expert report, when it finally presented it it happened to be an exact replica of what it presented some five years ago.
In the latest update of this saga, the Western Cape Equality Court (a province notorious for its racism anyway) decided that the case would be postponed to February this year but it had to establish FNB’s availability, leaving the door open for the usual delays. Of course, FNB wouldn’t be ready. So it proposed May as its preferred date but Judge Fortuin, who it is said is the only judge assigned to this matter, was not available at that time and could only make it in August.
This is preposterous. It is simply inconceivable that the Judge still asks about FNB’s availability when this financial institution has done everything to ensure it doesn’t appear before the court. In the time it has played its delaying tactics, some of its clients have died waiting and others continue to pay the discriminatory interest rates charged on their bonds, which many would have long paid-up if they were of a lighter complexion and a higher income bracket.
When the matter was postponed to February, I took it that the courts were closed but was surprised to hear that there were still matters being attended in the courts over the festive period.
This judge, the only one assigned to this case (that itself is the kind of madness that is too difficult to comprehend) doesn’t treat this case with the urgency it deserves. The R300 000 or so that Magdalene Pietersen has been overcharged in interest rates means nothing to this judge. Pietersen is not the only victim of this daylight theft – she’s joined by many Black clients who have paid this bank hundreds of thousands of rands in overcharged interest rates. It is morally repugnant that someone who took out a home loan of R64,000 in March 1996 still owes the bank R77 000 after 21 years.
This case demonstrates once again how courts have abused their power to suit some political groups and the elite. We’ve seen this in some of the judgements which clearly show the courts encroachment into legislative and executive powers of the state. We’ve seen how they continue to favour the rich and powerful and we’ve seen how they pander to corporate power.
They have seemingly forgotten that they have a social contract with the citizens and they are accountable to them through upholding the Constitution and the laws of the country.
It is no longer an issue for debate that the courts do not have the independence and impartiality bestowed upon them by the Constitution. It is a fallacy that they apply the law without fear or favour. The big question is who holds them to account before the citizens lose patience and revolt. It is only through the people’s trust that the courts will uphold their side of the social contract by meting-out justice, independently and fairly to all, that the contract can hold.