From the edi­tor

Finweek English Edition - - Contents - ANNELI GROENEWALD

any­body who has spent just one day on Twit­ter will know that it is no sweep­ing state­ment to say that, in gen­eral, ev­ery­body in this coun­try is an­gry at ev­ery­thing all the time. That’s why I found a par­tic­u­lar state­ment from Ian Sin­ton’s tes­ti­mony be­fore the Zondo com­mis­sion very re­fresh­ing. Sin­ton’s tes­ti­mony (also) has South Africans up in arms – and rightly so. Formerly the chief com­pli­ance of­fi­cer (CCO) at Stan­dard Bank, Sin­ton de­tailed how the for­mer min­is­ter of min­eral re­sources, Mosebenzi Zwane, had en­gaged with the bank on its de­ci­sion to close the ac­counts of the Gupta fam­ily. Zwane al­legedly threat­ened that he would change the coun­try’s bank­ing laws to make it il­le­gal for banks to close ac­counts. He also made a ref­er­ence to the fact that govern­ment li­censes banks – per­ceived as a veiled threat that the bank could lose its bank­ing li­cense should it not play ball.

An­other meet­ing that al­legedly took place and that in­di­cated ANC in­volve­ment in try­ing to de­fend the Gupta fam­ily was well re­ported on in the me­dia in the days af­ter Sin­ton’s tes­ti­mony. This al­legedly took place at Luthuli House, the ANC head­quar­ters, and was at­tended by none other than cur­rent ANC chair­man Gwede Man­tashe, as well as NEC mem­ber Enoch Godong­wana and deputy sec­re­tary-gen­eral Jessie Duarte, said Sin­ton.

It was dur­ing this meet­ing that Stan­dard Bank was, ac­cord­ing to Sin­ton, asked whether it was part of the white mo­nop­oly cap­i­tal that op­presses black peo­ple, and whether it was tak­ing or­ders from Stel­len­bosch. Busi­ness Day quotes Sin­ton as com­ment­ing on this by say­ing: “It was the first time I saw my boss get re­ally an­gry.”

That’s of course Sim Tsha­bal­ala, CEO of Stan­dard Bank. As CEO of one of the big four banks, Tsha­bal­ala must have more than enough daily frus­tra­tions that could anger him. But if his CCO has never seen him “re­ally an­gry”, he clearly does not al­low frus­tra­tions to get the bet­ter of him.

And maybe all South Africans could take a leaf from his book. Maybe we should choose our bat­tles wisely – and only al­low our­selves to get re­ally an­gry when it re­ally mat­ters.

Mat­ter of fact

In the 13 Septem­ber edi­tion of fin­week, we wrote: “Speak­ing to fin­week ear­lier in the year [South32 CEO Gra­ham] Kerr said that de­spite with­draw­ing from South Africa, the com­pany hadn’t com­pletely given up on pur­su­ing new in­vest­ment…” South32 has not sig­nalled its in­tent to with­draw from South Africa, where it is a ma­jor pro­ducer of coal, alu­minium and man­ganese ore and al­loys. We re­gret the er­ror. ■

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