Alliance partners Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) and the South African Communist Party (SACP) have described the manipulation of the rand as a coordinated regime change agenda.
Last week, Standard Chartered Bank agreed to pay over R42 million in settlement for manipulating the rand through fixing bids, offers, and trades – colluding with other banks between 2007 and 2018.
Both Cosatu and the SACP say poor people and the workers have carried the burden of this currency manipulation by local and foreign banks through the high cost of living, retrenchments and lower salaries.
They want recourse for all South Africans who endured the most of the currency manipulation.
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SACP’s Dr Alex Mashilo says this is tantamount to unseating a democratic government.
“When there is an attack on the Rand, there are all these people who come on our TV screens and radios to give us the reasons why the currency is losing value. Most often they attack the government. So, what you see here is a coordinated regime change agenda.”
“The fines imposed are equivalent to 10% of their annual turnover. It is nothing compared to the damage they have caused. That’s why as the SACP, we call on the government to revise our laws. We need to have currency manipulation punished for what it is, it is [a] crime, economic sabotage, and regime change agenda,” adds Mashilo.
Cosatu general secretary Solly Phetoe has called for the arrest of all those behind what he calls the “assault of the ANC government and the sabotage of the economy”.
“The National Treasury can’t be trusted and they have been leading on austerity measures, do they want to tell us that they were not aware of this manipulation of the rand? The cost of living has gone up and affecting only poor people.”
“This is criminal and my personal view is that this is a concerted effort to unseat the alliance government. That’s why we are saying drastic action must be taken,” explains Phetoe.