The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) will be joining Ayo Technologies in its urgent application at the High Court in Johannesburg.
The company is seeking an urgent interdict restraining FNB from de-activating or closing its banking facilities. Numsa says it will be joining this application as amicus curiae (or as a friend of the court).
FNB has given Ayo until Monday to find a new bank, otherwise it will close the company’s transactional facilities.
Numsa fears FNB’s move will add to the country’s staggering unemployment numbers. Currently, 32.5% of South Africans are without jobs.
“Ayo has not been found guilty of any crime and this includes money laundering or terrorist financing, therefore there is absolutely no justifiable reason for FNB to take such a drastic stance. Ayo has tried to find alternative banking services but to no avail. If they fail in court, then the lives of thousands of workers are in jeopardy. Without banking facilities, it will result in its eventual liquidation,” says Numsa.
Ayo Technology is linked to Sekunjalo Holdings, a Black investment holding that has business interests in the ICT sector. In a move reminiscent to what the bank did to the Gupta family in 2016, Absa last month led charge and severed all services to all business enterprises linked to Sekunjalo.
Absa says associating with Sekunjalo Holdings will harm the bank’s reputation.
However, Numsa believes it is all bluff.
“We must not view the decision taken by both FNB and Absa as guided by morality, principles or ethics. They have taken a position on the factional battles in the governing ANC. Dr. Iqbal Survé who is the chairman of the Sekunjalo group has angered the faction of capital sympathetic to President Cyril Ramaphosa, because Surve is perceived to be a supporter of the Zuma faction of the ANC. FNB and ABSA have taken sides in this battle and are attempting to drive Survé out of business as a result,” says the organisation’s General Secretary, Irvin Jim, in a statement.
“Furthermore, these banks are shareholders in white ICT companies and it is in their interests to collapse a Black-owned competitor like Ayo. We have no interest in choosing between Zuma or Ramaphosa. Both are devils who betrayed the working class at the altar of neo-liberalism and capitalism, which is why in 2013 we took the decision to reject the ANC and we actively established the formation of a party for the working class, the SRWP. As a Marxist-Leninist inspired trade union it is in our interests to defend the rights of the working class, and this is why we have an interest in this case,” adds Jim.
The urgent application will be heard at 9:30am via Zoom.