Wed. Jul 24th, 2024

The decision by FNB to close the bank account of former president Jacob Zuma has ignited scrutiny from political leaders, particularly due to its timing just months before elections.

Zuma has been at the helm of the uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) party for the past four months, following his endorsement of the new party, where he holds the number one spot on the list of candidates.

Reports emerged on Sunday indicating that the bank was terminating his account, the same account where the now-defunct VBS Mutual Bank had deposited a loan of R7.8 million for Zuma.

Responding to inquiries, FNB stated that it was adhering to an order from the High Court in KwaZulu-Natal. However, the bank refrained from further comment citing client confidentiality, asserting that it treats all customers impartially and consistently.

Themba Godi, leader of the African People’s Convention (APC), and former chairperson of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa), expressed concern over the extensive power wielded by banks, suggesting a need for regulatory changes.

Godi questioned whether the bank’s action was driven by administrative protocols or political motivations, highlighting the suspicious timing in light of the upcoming elections.

Former Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) leader Letlapa Mphahlele echoed these sentiments, suggesting that FNB’s decision raised suspicions, particularly given Zuma’s involvement in the MK party.

According to the Sunday World, the bank cited Zuma’s status as a politically exposed person as the reason for the account closure. Despite this, Zuma continues to lead the MK party, which was registered with the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) last year.

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