Image courtesy of NewERA
The New Economic Rights Alliance (NewERA) is a non profit organisation that aims at securing transparency across the South African banking sector by taking the four major banks of the country to court for what they see as an infringement on the rights of the public. To read more about NewERA on Life In Balance click here
The organisation has just released a public update on the progress of their court case against the banks, as well as many audio recordings outlining the cause, the case and the process.
NewERA’s update to the public had the following to say:
This is where our case stands so far:
• On July 20 we served a summons on the banks which included approximately 130 formally joined Members and 115,000 supporters.
• Normally the banks would respond to our allegations by agreeing to, or disputing the facts put before them in the summons.
• However, instead of responding, the bank/s filed a long list of exceptions to our summons. The court rules say that if the summons, or parts of the summons are i) “vague and embarrassing” and ii) the defendant (banks) would be prejudiced (hurt in some way) as a result of responding, then they can take exception to the summons.
• NewERA, in good faith, went through the exceptions and decided to amend the summons to make certain parts of it clearer. We also included new joining members (now standing at 444 formally joined members and 140,000 supporters).
• The bank/s replied to our proposed amendments with a further list of objections!
• Put simply, until such time as the Court makes a determination as to which parts of our summons are “vague and embarrassing” and which are not, the banks will not be required to respond to the allegations put before them.
• So we are preparing to go to a trial within a trial. We should have a trial date set down very soon.
• Don't be disheartened by this. We are preparing for a second, full-blown class action against the banks. Anyone who has, or has had a loan will be invited to participate and make a claim.
To learn more about our court case, it is very important that you listen to the above two sets of interviews here and here. They will give you the information you need to understand how securitisation makes it unlawful for a bank to collect money from you. However, you need to investigate and see for yourself.
We hope that you appreciate the work we are doing and hope that you continue to support us in any way you can.
THE NEW ECONOMIC RIGHTS ALLIANCE