South Africa: #CR17 Leaks - How FNB Helped Us By Not Helping Us

The scene of the crash where Gavin Watson died.

The rumpus over the #CR17leaks is fascinating for all kinds of reasons. But occasionally a lone voice pops up above the political maelstrom with a different question: what is the response and responsibility of banks to this apparent grotesque invasion of privacy? If the president's bank accounts are not secure, whose are?

Among all the political arguments and furious debate about the #CR17leaks, a pertinent question pops up: what is the role of the banks in this process?

I asked the question, and the response was desperately unrevealing. So unrevealing, it was revealing. It's odd, but that's how it works.

First, some background. Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane requested information from three banks earlier in 2019 in response to a complaint brought by DA leader Mmusi Maimane in 2018 concerning a R500,000 donation from Bosasa's Gavin Watson to President Cyril Ramaphosa's party presidency campaign. The EFF subsequently supported the application in January 2019.

The issue was whether Ramaphosa misled Parliament about the donation. There was a bit of a mix-up here because Ramaphosa responded to a parliamentary question thinking, he says, this was not a campaign donation, but a business transaction between Bosasa's successor company, African Global Operations, and his son...

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