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Akani Retirement Fund Administrators to take FSCA to court

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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 the administrator’s 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.

Read: FSCA search and seizure at Akani Retirement Fund Administrators

“It is also unfortunate, particularly given Akani RFA’s past cooperation with the FSCA,” it adds.

This comes after the FSCA on July 14 announced that the 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”.

“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 the administrator.

“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.”

Akani RFA holds that 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.”

The FSCA says information will be shared once outcomes are carefully considered and due processes are followed.

Meanwhile, the Black Business Council (BBC), on Monday, condemned the FSCA’s operation 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 adds.

“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. This is malicious and disingenuous of the FSCA and must be condemned in the strongest terms,” says BBC’s CEO, Kganki Matabane.

The BBC says it is not against the investigation but that 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 without success,” says Matabane.

Akani RFA joined the BBC as a member on April 6.

Nondumiso Lehutso is a Moneyweb intern.