Former president Jacob Zuma’s son Edward Zuma has dropped a bombshell, claiming that FNB has closed his and his siblings’ bank accounts.
Speaking to Sunday World, Zuma said he went to his FNB branch in Durban to perform a few transactions but the bank officials told him that they could not assist him as his account had either been closed or frozen.
He said when he enquired about the reason, he was referred to the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC).
“When I arrived there, the bank officials told me that I would not be able to transact because my account has been closed down or frozen,” explained Zuma.
He lamented that FNB had not informed him of its intention to close his account.
“I really don’t know what is happening because at no stage did the bank tell me that there was suspicious movement of money in my account.”
Zuma said he withdrew the funds that were left in his account and settled his vehicle which was used to ferry his children to school.
“I think they saw money moving in and quickly moving out. I think they were worried that money comes in there, quickly goes out, comes in again, you see. I use my account because I’m self-employed. I use my account to do my own things, you know,” he said.
Zuma also said that he knew his siblings’ bank accounts had also been closed, noting that he suspects his family is being harassed as a way of hitting back at his father.
“We have not been given any explanation. What is the reason for the closure of these accounts because they have not been doing money-laundering or anything of that sort?”
He said he believed they were being politically targeted because his political nemesis, Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan, is friends with the local banking groups.
“My relationship with Pravin has not been that good. I’m still championing that Pravin Gordhan must be chased away from the ANC and [also] chased away as the minister,” he said.
Zuma added that the family is being targeted because their political opponents had failed to harass his father.
“They have been harassing Zuma [former president] for more than 18 years and they failed. These guys are harassing me now. I don’t have an account with FNB anymore.”
In a written response, FNB could neither deny or confirm if it had indeed frozen or closed down the accounts.
“FNB cannot provide any information on specific bank accounts. In instances where the bank exercises its contractual right to terminate a banking relationship, the impacted customer is given reasonable notice to make alternative arrangements [with the bank].
“FNB has a responsibility to ensure that its bank accounts are managed in accordance with all the relevant laws,” it said.
In a statement, FIC said it didn’t have a mandate to close Zuma and his siblings’ accounts.
“The FIC’s mandate does not extend to closing bank accounts of account holders. The FIC can therefore not confirm that it has shut down the bank accounts of the individuals mentioned in your query,” reads the statement from the FIC.
Gordhan’s spokesperson Mkokeli Sam mocked Zuma. “It is surprising he doesn’t say the minister is behind the famous highveld thunderstorms,” he said.