ConCourt dismisses Sekunjalo account closure appeal
Iqbal Surve's Sekunjalo Group has suffered another blow in its war with SA's banks, after the Constitutional Court dismissed – with costs – its efforts to appeal a ruling that allowed three of them to close its accounts.
A Fin24 report says the apex court yesterday unanimously dismissed Sekunjalo's attempt to challenge a Competition Appeal Court (CAC) ruling that found that it had failed to make a prima facie case that Standard Bank, Access Bank and Mercantile Bank had committed a ‘prohibited practice’ under the Competition Act by closing accounts belonging to its companies.
Surve had earlier argued that the closure of the Sekunjalo Group's bank accounts constituted an abuse of dominance and/or collusive conduct in contravention of the Competition Act – but the CAC was unconvinced.
As a result, it found that the Competition Tribunal was wrong to order the group's various banks to either keep its accounts open or to reinstate them, pending the finalisation of a Competition Commission into their dealings with Sekunjalo – and granted Standard Bank, Access Bank and Mercantile Bank's application for that ruling to be overturned.
The Constitutional Court has now found that Sekunjalo's application to appeal that decision has ‘no reasonable prospects of success’ and dismissed it.
The Fin24 report notes its decision comes nearly two months after the SCA dismissed Surve's accusations that Nedbank's decision to close his Sekunjalo group's accounts was based on racism and overturned an Equality Court interdict that blocked the bank from doing so.
The Constitutional Court has now upheld the CAC’s ruling.
It is, however, yet to decide on whether to hear the Sekunjalo Group's appeal against the SCA's unanimous decision to overturn a Western Cape Equality Court ruling that found merit to Survé's accusations that Nedbank's decision to close the group's accounts was racist.
The SCA also overturned the interim interdict that the Equality Court granted against Nedbank, which had blocked the bank from being able to close the Sekunjalo Group's accounts.
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