By Alec Hogg
So now we know why Jacob Zuma tore into SA's big banks in his SONA address last week, while simultaneously praising the Competition Commission. On Wednesday, the Commission referred 17 banks to the Competition Tribunal because of colluding forex traders.
File Photo. President Jacob Zuma , Atul Gupta and Eastern Cape Premier Noxolo Kieviet at a New Age Breakfast in Port Elizabeth. www.flickr.com.
The mass media loves the story, putting its own interpretation onto a sober statement to stoke a banking conspiracy of collusion and abuse. Their headlines were manna from heaven for Zuma and his bank-licence-seeking, FICA-blocking friends the Guptas. Except the truth is rather different.
A rational observer would have immediately smelled a rat when observing that of the 17 banks tagged by the Commission, only three of SA’s Big Five are named - FirstRand and Nedbank are excluded. Also, one of the three, Absa, immediately issued a statement that it won’t be fined. That m...