Absa's move to drop Springboks is 'dangerous' - EFF

Johannesburg - Absa Bank needs to look at itself first before pulling out of sponsorship renewal talks with the Springboks over their slow pace of transformation, the EFF said on Monday.

"That is a dangerous move. They are distorting and misleading society, and it is a strategy to gain undue legitimacy," Economic Freedom Fighters spokesperson and MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi told News24. 

"Absa has no moral authority to comment on transformation until it has led by example. Absa must transform itself as much as the Bokke must transform themselves."

The Sunday Times reported that Absa had sent a letter to SA Rugby Union CEO Jurie Roux informing them that after discussions, it had decided to withdraw its sponsorship of the national team. 

Unnamed sources told the newspaper this was because Absa wanted to be more closely aligned with government's black economic growth targets, and the lack of transformation in rugby tarnished this. 

EFF leader Julius Malema told the Southern African-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Johannesburg on Friday that the party was mobilising for "practical action" to address inequalities in the country – and their first target would be Absa Bank.

"[We will] occupy Absa, each and every branch of Absa, until we are given a practical programme of action on how the bank is going to intervene to resolve the inequalities in society," he said. 

"We targeted Absa because it is the amalgamated banks of the Broederbond... who operated during apartheid and stole our money on the eve of democracy."

Malema did not give a date or time, but said on a certain day, 3 000 EFF members would occupy each branch of Absa around the country.

Ndlozi said on Monday that Absa was one of the "untransformed white dominated institutions" in the country. 

"The reason why we want the nationalisation of banks is so that credit could be controlled and invested in local talent - local black talent." 

Absa told News24 that it was "contractually precluded" from commenting on the situation with the Springboks at this stage. 

It would comment on the EFF's plan to occupy their branches later.

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