Stan­dard Bank stands by Stan­bic over Zam­bia bribery al­le­ga­tions

The Mercury - - BUSINESS REPORT - Sandile Mchunu

STAN­DARD Bank has de­fended its sub­sidiary Stan­bic Bank Zam­bia on al­le­ga­tions of brib­ing three judges in that coun­try to re­ceive favourable judg­ment against its for­mer client.

Stan­dard Bank said yes­ter­day that the ac­cu­sa­tions had no merit. “Stan­bic Bank be­lieves in trans­parency and the rule of law. We re­spect the judg­ment, which was ar­rived at in a fair and trans­par­ent man­ner in ac­cor­dance with the laws of the land,” Stan­dard Bank said.

This comes after Stan­bic ap­pealed the Septem­ber 2016 rul­ing by high court judge Justin Chashi, who or­dered the bank to pay Savenda K192.5 mil­lion (R253.23m) for loss of busi­ness and vi­tal con­tracts after the bank re­ported the lo­cal en­ter­prise to the Credit Ref­er­ence Bureau for de­fault­ing on in­stal­ments.

Savenda re­ceived a loan of $540 000 (R7.18m) from Stan­bic in 2007. Ac­cord­ing to records, Savenda was servicing the loan as sched­uled, but the bank’s sys­tem could not cap­ture these monthly re­pay­ments. Stan­bic ad­mit­ted the er­ror and put it in writ­ing that they would rec­tify the prob­lem. But, an­other Stan­dard Bank re­ported Savenda to the Credit Ref­er­ence Bureau as a del­i­ques­cent bor­rower.

In March Stan­bic ap­pealed to the Court of Ap­peal, which de­cided that the dam­age suf­fered by Savenda was only nom­i­nal or ex­ist­ing in name only and awarded Savenda K5 000.

Three Supreme Court judges Nigel Mu­tuna, Michael Mu­sonda and Evans Ha­maundu dis­missed the ap­peal by Savenda.

Since then, sev­eral in­di­vid­u­als and or­gan­i­sa­tions have ac­cused the three judges of pro­fes­sional mis­con­duct. The Na­tional Em­pow­er­ment Fo­rum called on chief jus­tice Irene Mam­bil­ima to con­sti­tute a tri­bunal against the three judges.

How­ever, the Law As­so­ci­a­tion of Zam­bia (LAZ) has de­fended the Court of Ap­peals rul­ing and sup­ported the judges. “As LAZ we have un­der­stood these com­ments and al­le­ga­tions as be­ing cal­cu­lated to in­ter­fere with the proper ad­min­is­tra­tion of jus­tice, cal­cu­lated at in­still­ing fear in the minds of the named and other judges for pur­poses of im­pend­ing their in­de­pen­dence in the ad­ju­dica­tive process and in­hibit­ing the dis­charge of the duty that coun­sel owes his client,” LAZ said.

LAZ said while the mem­bers of the public are at lib­erty to com­ment on de­ci­sions of the courts in Zam­bia and ex­change views on the de­ci­sions, it was con­temp­tu­ous to al­lege a bias and in­com­pe­tence against the court. “A party or any per­son who makes such al­le­ga­tions is li­able to be cited for con­tempt of court and if con­victed, sen­tenced to im­pris­on­ment or to pay a fine or both,” LAZ warned.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.