Akani Retirement Fund Administrators (Akani RFA) intends to take legal action against the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA), following the financial watchdog’s search and seizure operation at its property last week.
Akani RFA claimed in a statement issued on Friday that the FSCA procured the warrant without giving notice and further conducted the operation illegally. The retirement fund administrator says it will also apply to have the order overturned.
“It is also unfortunate, particularly given Akani RFA’s past cooperation with the FSCA… The FSCA is aware of Akani RFA’s position in this regard, yet the media statement, dated 14 July 2022, disingenuously omitted any mention of this.
“In any event, there was no basis for releasing a statement about an investigation that has not been concluded yet,” adds retirement fund administrator.
Akani RFA’s statement comes after the FSCA on 14 July announced that a order, granted by deputy judge president of the High Court in the Gauteng Division, Opulent Molopa, was based on complaints “which contained sufficient information to create a reasonable suspicion that financial sector laws may have been contravened by Akani”.
Akani RFA further bemoans: “The statement should not have been released, and the FSCA’s decision to publish it at this stage is incompatible with its statutory duty to be fair and independent.”
According to the retirement fund administrator, it has an exceptional track record and is in compliance with all applicable laws and practices expected of it, while ethically servicing its members.
“Akani RFA looks forward to the conclusion of the investigation and a continued professional relationship with the FSCA,” it adds.
In its statement on the search and seizure operation last week, the FSCA notes that information will be shared once outcomes are carefully considered and due processes are followed. The authority is yet to comment on Akani RFA’s threat to take it to court on the matter.
BBB weighs in …
Meanwhile, the Black Business Council (BBC) on Monday condemned the FSCA’s move, saying it carried out a “malicious apartheid/askari-style search and seizure operation”.
“The search was conducted using white racist reservists to intimidate Akani employees, similar to what happened during apartheid, opening old wounds,” it says in a statement.
“It is our view, as confirmed by the statement of the FSCA, that the real intention is to pronounce a guilty verdict on Akani and the person of its founder, Zamani Letjane, in the court of public opinion before matters are investigated fully and taken through our country’s justice system,” says the BBC’s CEO Kganki Matabane.
“This is malicious and disingenuous of the FSCA and must be condemned in the strongest terms,” adds Matabane.
The BBC says it is not against the investigation, however, the rules of engagement and terms of investigation must be consistent across all businesses and not only target transformed and black-owned and managed businesses.
“We have written to the commissioner of the FSCA Mr Unathi Kamlana, to seek an audience with him, [but] without success,” says Matabane.
Akani RFA joined the BBC as a member on 6 April 2022.
Nondumiso Lehutso is a Moneyweb intern.