Court dismisses racism claims against FNB
The court found the claim of racism was unfounded, and that Van Zyl showed a malicious disregard for the facts and an overriding desire to continue his vendetta against First National Bank (FNB).
Van Zyl had claimed that Saambou Bank (later taken over by FNB) charged black people a higher interest rate than white people. He alleged that FNB was a racist bank.
During his campaign against the bank, he involved the ANC Youth League, Parliament, and the Human Rights Commission.
Van Zyl claimed to represent 400 claims ceded to him by people who entered into loan agreements with Saambou Bank.
He alleged that Saambou, and later FNB, overcharged them with interest in excess of what they were obliged to pay in terms of the relevant loan agreements.
Acting Judge Louis Vorster found that Saambou had not acted incorrectly nor unreasonably in making interest rate changes to its home-loan accounts.
As such there was no claim for any damages against FNB for former Saambou home-loan customers.
The judge agreed with a request by FNB for a punitive costs order against Van Zyl, who had waged a widespread campaign against the bank through the media. – Sapa.