27 October 2022
The South African Communist Party (SACP) fully supports the class action led by Lungelo Lethu Human Rights Foundation against the unscrupulous banks that have been swindling the workers and poor as well as lower sections of the middle class in South Africa for decades. The banks have made it their primary business to wantonly disregard the law or exploit loopholes in it and the tenets of justice through unjust and unlawful evictions of their clients and non-clients alike in pursuit of profits for their capitalist bosses.
The latest court judgment concerning the gross injustice in eviction matters was delivered on 19 October 2022 by Justice Thupaatlase in the Johannesburg high court. In that case, a working-class and poor family suffered when a bank, which was later taken over by Nedbank, in 2001, sold their house, added it to its portfolio, for one hundred rands only (R100) in a purported foreclosure and sale by execution for a loan.
Unfairly benefitting Nedbank, the bank sold the house without the knowledge and consent of the family, as well as without following due legal process. The house was sold from one set of hands to another in what Justice Thupaatlase described as “mischief” in a “chequered” and “messy” history for over 20 years without consequence. Buying a house for R100 is nothing but corruption, in one word that calls a spade a spade. As Lungelo Lethu Human Rights Foundation has said, based on its records, this kind of corruption is not a freak, a one-off, but has been normal practice for many years and not by just one bank but also by other oligopolies that make up the monopoly of the banking sector in South Africa.
Ruling in favour of the affected family, the original owners Agnes Malinga and Joseph Njoko, and returning the house to them as its rightful owners, Justice Thupaatlase correctly noted that the case revealed “a very disturbing behavioural pattern of the various banking institutions involved” in this criminality. The bank’s conduct amounted to an arbitrary deprivation of property in violation of the constitution.
This unscrupulous eviction case is but one of many which have attracted the attention of human rights activists. In tackling the rampant robbery BY the banks, Lungelo Lethu Human Rights Foundation has instituted the biggest civil action in South African history in a class action against the banks, amounting to R60 billion. Fending off death threats and intimidation, Lungelo Lethu Human Rights Foundation has compiled critical evidence in the fight against the violation of the people by the banks. The SACP fully supports the foundation.
As part of its programme to build a powerful, socialist movement of the workers and poor, the SACP will mobilise more working-class formations and communities to forge the greatest and broadest unity against the ongoing injustices spearheaded by finance capital.
ISSUED BY THE SOUTH AFRICAN COMMUNIST PARTY | SACP
EST. 1921 AS THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF SOUTH AFRICA | CPSA
1921–2022: 101 YEARS OF UNBROKEN STRUGGLE
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Solly Mapaila, the SACP General Secretary
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Source: South African Communist Party