Sactwu march to Absa offices for R195?mln claim

2014-03-10 00:00

THE Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union (Sactwu) took to the streets on Saturday, marching to the Absa offices in Durban demanding money the union lost in an investment.

The union was protesting against the bank’s role in the loss of more than R400 million from provident funds the union members belonged to.

The march took place during the third day of Sactwu’s bargaining conference for 400 shop stewards held at one of the hotels on the beachfront.

Union president Themba Khumalo said Absa had continued to fund an investment company that has been administering Sactwu’s provident fund while aware that it was on the verge of collapse.

“Absa was not honest with us. Therefore the bank is liable to pay the workers’ money with interest,” Khumalo said.

The union is demanding the bank repays the union almost R200 million lost in investments and gave the bank a week to respond to their memorandum of demands. “We have launched a R200 million legal claim against Absa recently, regarding this matter,” Sactwu deputy general secretary Chris Gina said.

The trustees of the union’s investment body last month lodged a R195 million claim against Absa, in an attempt to recover the lost money.

But Absa is defending the action and has also instituted its own claim.

The lawsuit relates to property developer Pinnacle Point, into which it pumped millions before the company went under in 2011. It was previously reported that the trust was created as an investment vehicle for several provident funds established for the benefit of Sactwu members.

The trust concluded two agreements a few years ago, forking out R195 million, in terms of which it acquired a stake in Pinnacle Point.

The trust first bought R100 million in shares from Pinnacle Point in October 2009, then later bought over Absa’s shares — the bank had a 27% shareholding — for R150 million, although only R95 million of this amount was paid, according to media reports.

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