‘Competition Commission was overreaching in rand manipulation matter’

todayJanuary 9, 2024 24

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A concept image showing a regular South African Rand banknote that is half melted and liquified dripping on an isolated studdio background
Economist, Dawie Roodt, says judgment dismissing the case against the more than banks, which were accused of manipulating the rand is not surprising.
On Monday evening, the Competition Appeals Court’s cleared Standard Bank, FirstRand, and Nedbank, along with other foreign banks for their alleged involvement in the scandal that had many South Africans up in arms with some politicians taking advantage and blaming it for the slow economic growth.
The foreign exchange rigging had allegedly taken place between 2007 and 2013.
It made headlines when Standard Bank made a deal with the Competition Commission and paid a R43 million settlement for its role in the scandal.
The Competition Commission reported that these banks had generated about a trillion rand a day – due to price-fixing and market allocation.
In an unexpected turn of events, the Competition Appeals Court has cited the lack of evidence, the lack of jurisdiction, and overreach – as the reasons for dismissing the cases against 24 of the implicated banks.
Only four banks were not cleared with the court saying there are enough grounds for a case to be pursued against them.
Roodt says the commission was overreaching in this matter.
Political analyst, Professor Sam Koma, has also weighed in and says it would be futile for the government to challenge the court’s ruling.
Koma says the Competition Commission dismally failed to prove its claims of a conspiracy that the 28 implicated banks had manipulated the South African currency.
Meanwhile, Standard Bank says it feels vindicated.
“Standard Bank has always maintained that the Group is wholly committed to the rule of law, respects the important role of institutions, and upholds South Africa’s Constitutional democracy, and our Constitutional obligation to ensure that our country improves the quality of life of all citizens. In its ruling, the Court concluded that the case against Standard Bank “does not get out of the legal starting blocks”.
However, some South Africans on social media have taken the court’s findings with a pinch of salt.

Written by: Nokwazi Qumbisa

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