OpinionPoliticsState Capture

Sanitising White Corruption; Currency Rigging, SARB & Treasury

By Devine Hadebe


In the immediate aftermath of the announcement that seventeen banks had been rigging the rand as far back as 2007, commercial media have gone out to spin the story but the key is where Treasury and South African Reserve Bank (SARB) have been in the ten years of absolute looting.

From the onset it is clear that banks have been manipulating currency elsewhere, only a fool would think it wasn’t happening here but our media have focused their energies on exposing government corruption that they simply pulled a wool over our eyes. And to be clear to avoid being misunderstood, I and many others have no problem in exposing government corruption. We want it exposed. What we challenge are the double standards by media. We have been so inundated with news of government corruption that the media have put a lid on the currency scandal.

IN May 2015, global media told us banks were colluding on currency. (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-05-21/us-britain-fine-top-banks-nearly-6-bn-for-forex-libor-abuses/6485510).

It was clear then that banks like Barclays couldn’t just manipulate currency in the US and Britain and not in others countries like South Africa. The media effectively spun the story by claiming “no found evidence of malpractice or “serious misconduct” in domestic rand trading” (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-10-19/south-african-probe-finds-currency-traders-shared-client-details), but now we know better. This is the investigative mainstream media which can dig so deep into a story that distant relatives of public workers can be exposed and their deeds can dominate headlines. It is the same media that can tell you about the cousin-of-a-cousin of a municipal manager who got a tender from a deep rural town somewhere in SA (http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/outgoing-durban-mayors-cousin-wins-inchanga-ward-20160805).

When news of what we already knew and had occurred right under the noses of our self-acclaimed ‘corruption busters, they had already lined up economists/ “experts” to explain the saga. It’s by no coincidence that each mainstream paper had an “expert” doing damage control over the corruption. Any outrage equivalent to what we saw against the Nkandla scandal vanished. The mission was to provide a soft-landing for widespread corruption by White Monopoly Capital companies, which we’ve been suspecting all along.

Media spin in overdrive

First their role was to remind whoever cares to take them seriously that this is not corruption but ‘colluding’. Corruption is a description reserved for Blacks. Some were sanitising it by reminding us that this is an ‘international’ problem, as if somehow it makes it better (http://www.sabc.co.za/news/a/d29b7580401704659855fb75889f6f7e/%E2%80%98Bank-collusion-a-global-phenomenon%E2%80%99-20171602).

The Citizen reminded us not to “scare foreign investors” (http://www.business-index.co.za/Citizen_The-84455-business-website.htm), the kind that invest only in corruptible countries I guess.

The usual SCARECROW of the Rand falling, foreign investment and Rating Agencies with their downgrade was now the roll.

Where do they get these people honestly? Im talking of the kind to tell the victims that “you had it better, it could have been worse” don’t complain. The ones who reserve accountability and justice only for black corruption.

I bet they already have “experts” lined up for soft-landing of Rating Agencies’ looting and their ‘colluding’. Come on now, we would be gullible to think that Rating Agencies are ‘colluding’ only in other countries but not in SA (https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/jan/14/moodys-864m-penalty-for-ratings-in-run-up-to-2008-financial-crisis). It’s only a question of time before their corruption is exposed here as well. It cant be the stretch of the imagination that S&P Rating Agency’s Konrad Reuss’s advice to the ANC to do the “right thing in electing ANC leaders” is more of a threat than anything else. We can expect the ANC’s choice of leadership will determine a downgrade or not. We also expect that these are not isolated views by an individual at the helm of a rating agency but rather that they are held by all rating agencies. (https://businesstech.co.za/news/government/140053/sp-warns-whats-happening-in-sa-more-than-just-political-noise/).

Where’s the Reserve Bank & Treasury in all of this?

In the midst of all this the question that must be asked is this: where was/is our South African Reserve Bank (SARB) and National Treasury in all of this? Surely they can’t rely on the media’s narrative that all was or is rosy in our private banking systems, like we are expected to? I mean these are institutions whose sole mandate is to manage our finances and at which the Rand is at the centre!

How can it be comprehensible that SARB and Treasury had no idea of this looting for a full ten years (2007-2014)? How could they have had no idea and had not foreseen such misconduct given that currency manipulation had happened in this country under the Mbeki era prompting him to appoint a commission, which upon its establishment, stopped the decline of the rand?

Is it a case of negligence, incapacity or ‘colluding’ that for ten years, the same “Finance minister (who) has appointed certain banks as Authorised Dealers in foreign exchange that gives such banks the right to buy and sell foreign exchange”, conveniently forgot to “subject (them) to conditions within limits prescribed by the Financial Surveillance Department?” Could it be that for over ten years our Minister forgot to authorise Surveillance to “gather, analyse and disseminate information on cross-border flows”, in accordance to SARB? (https://www.resbank.co.za/RegulationAndSupervision/FinancialSurveillanceAndExchangeControl/ExconAdmin/Pages/default.aspx)


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  1. What irks me the most if it is black it is corruption and if it white it is something more acceptable collusion. It is fraud fraud fraud finnish and klaar. The Treasury is busy spinning the narrative while Maria Ramos apologised therefore admitting guilt. And the likes of that nuisance Sipho Pityana, the opposition parties’ silence on the matter is deafening. The less said about the propaganda stream media the better. This narrative goes against their baases instructions so do not expect them to flood their publications with the facts. This matter grates me no end. You wanted to fund free education for all, the banks have that money and we are still pussy footing around the issue. Our government must just be firm and make these fraudsters cough up these ill gotten gains. We are not here to play games.

  2. All banks implicated into the coalition on currency rigging are liable for taxation on all the profit they made, this should be over above the recommended 10% fine which is nothing but a slap on the wrist.

    Failure for the Finance Minister to openly declare this & compel them to this tax obligation, will constitute to him favoring them in an act of tax invasion.

    This will resolve his concern raised in his budget speech of R30bn deficit at Sars. That’s what is expected from the Hon Minister!

  3. It is an absolute disgrace that the people of SA are exploitet in such a way. Where are the parties like DA that can always criticize non whites behaviour experts all the time not discovering this. Please don’t think for a moment I are in favour of ANY corruption from any side. It is just that white corruption seems to be no evil across the globe. Can every person be treated equal? Just my humble opinion.

  4. Seems like we were cursed from the start as a country to have had these white Neoliberal apologists in Trevor Manuel and Pravin Gordhan. Pushing Capitalism benefiting the white business fraternity on the back of the poor black people.

    We must uncover all the dirt they’re sitting on. Even when they’re gone, they still treat Treasury as their fiefdom of some sort.

  5. Seems like we were cursed as a country to have had these white Neoliberal apologists in Trevor Manuel and Pravin Gordhan. Pushing Capitalism benefiting the white business fraternity on the back of the poor black people.

    We must uncover all the dirt they’re sitting on. Even when they’re gone, they still treat Treasury as their fiefdom of some sort.

  6. I think the minister gordan knows about this.His arrogance tells a lot.And he thinks that is above the law.He must be investigated together with the Banks involved.I am dissapointed about Thuli Madonsela who spent 5yrs in the office not investigating this matter that was there when she enter the office,but she chooses to investigate cdes whom they were with her in exile.She must also be investigated with,Minister Gordan,Rupert,Maria Ramos and Trevor Manuel.

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