Reports that Standard Bank has filed an affidavit seeking protection from political interference has been met with concern.
Legal expert David Loxton, Partner at Dentons law firm in Johannesburg, specialising in corporate investigations and compliance, is concerned.
"Does the Standard Bank affidavit give the lie to accusations of collusive activity by the banks? Does it prove corruption? If officials were abusing their positions of authority to assist others to further their business interests by obtaining an unfair advantage, my answer would be ' arguably, yes on both counts," says Loxton.
The affidavit sets out information of extensive interference in a business by various senior government officials. “Why would government do this? Is it politics? Is it the role of government to involve itself in what is essentially risk management by the bank? Viewed holistically in the context of the Public Protector report, and other public information, I would say not.”
“The whole saga should concern all South Africans: to what extent has this country’s institutions been captured and abused?”
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