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Competition Commission praised for taking rand-fixing battle to ConCourt

todayFebruary 8, 2024 47

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Various political and economic players, including the African Transformation Movement (ATM), have welcomed the Competition Commission’s decision to take its legal battle against the banks accused of manipulating the rand to the Constitutional Court.
The ATM says it believes that South Africa can reach its full potential if those in power are held to account.
ATM national spokesperson, Zama Tshona, says the party supports the commission’s legal battle with hopes that it will shed light on the extent the currency manipulation affected the livelihoods of South Africans.

Labour federation, SAFTU, has also thrown its weight behind the Competition Commission’s bid.

SAFTU national spokesperson, Trevor Shaku, says the commission should not rest until all the implicated banks are held accountable.

Political analyst, Professor Sam Koma, says the commission’s move is necessary to bring finality on this matter.
On Tuesday, the Competition Commission announced its intension to the approach the Constitutional Court to appeal a Competition Appeal Court ruling that cleared the majority of local and foreign commercial banks implicated in the rand manipulation scandal.
While some economic experts say claims that the manipulation negatively impacted the lives of ordinary South Africa are exaggerated, the commission says South Africans need answers on whether the banks colluded and fixed the rand/dollar exchange rate between 2007 and 2013.
It also wants the ConCourt to rule on whether the commission has jurisdiction to prosecute companies outside of South Africa whose anti-competitive conduct affect the lives of South African citizens.
Last month, the Competition Appeal Court dismissed the competition watchdog’s first bid, saying it had failed to demonstrate that the alleged actions of currency traders harmed the country’s economy.
It cleared Standard Bank, FirstRand, and Nedbank, along with other foreign banks.

Only four international banks were not cleared with the appeals court saying there was enough grounds for a case to be pursued against them.

Written by: Nokwazi Qumbisa

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