No Justice For The Black Poor Ripped Off By FNB – Not Even In The Equality Court


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.


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  1. I am still waiting for my case to get attention and closure. Also Saambou home loan victim. FNB closed now my home loan account

  2. FNB caught me out with an unlawful action confirmed by the NCR and a advocate of the high court. I am going to sue the bank, their lawyers and the magistrate. These creatures are disgusting, and talk about the court capture? Captured it is. Having a look at Emerald van Zyl’s clients cases makes me want to puke. Discrimination at it’s best in a “new South Africa”. There is nothing new about this country, discrimination continuing unabatedly. A DISGRACE!!

    1. We look forward to your case Anne. Will be following it with interest. Justin Lewis is a campaigner against the rampant corruption of SA courts. Uniting against all these evil people is the best way. All of you should get together to form a strong alliance against corruption. Not that fake corruption watch that is funded by the corruptors themselves and turns a blind eye against them.

  3. Dear Pinky, this matter related to discrimination of interest rates on mortgage loans on black people of low cost housing will be hopefully resolved this years, after delaying tactics by FNB for 5 years.

    The Equality Court date has been set down for August this year.
    FNB’s defense is that the “PROMOTION OF EQUALITY AND PREVENTION OF UNFAIR DICRIMINATION ACT NO.4 OF 2000” was promulgated on 16 June 2003 and that the complainants claims related to discrimination happened before that date.

    Legal Opinion obtain from Senior Council ( a former Judge) commented as follows on FNB’s defense:-

    “The Act was promulgated emanating from the provisions in the
    The protection of these rights were already created in the
    Constitution and therefore the entitlement to claim for
    damages arises from the Constitution and not the Act.
    The allegation by the Respondent (FNB) is unfounded”.

    The matter of Simon Michaels has been referred to the Human Rights Commission (Reference WC/1718/0396) and to the Standing Committee : Finance in Parliament. I have been requested to attend the Public Hearing on behalf of Mr. Michaels. The date must still be determine.

    Thank you for your support and understanding

    1. Thanks for the update Emerald. All the best – lets hope it is finalised. In the meantime, we must complain to the Judicial Service Commission – I find the conduct of this judge completely unacceptable. It may prejudice the complainants if they lodge the complaint I would image but the more we keep quiet about this abuse the more we erode our democracy. This just cant be allowed to go on.

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