BANKS: CRIMINALITY EXPOSED
The formatting of the following presentation is not as attractive as the original one regarding the germane contents that I extracted from documents in several cases concerning banks, in which I had been commissioned as a forensic investigator.
If you wish to read the original PDF version with colours and proper indenting, then kindly click on the following link:
COEN VAN WYK
B.Sc., B.Sc. (Hons.), B.Iuris
22 June 2011
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN
BANK CRIMINALITY AND OTHER SHENANIGANS
What follows are germane contents extracted from a document that I prepared regarding several cases in which I have been commissioned as a forensic investigator.
INDEX OF CONTENTS
13. The Banking Ombudsmans says: Banks are inconsiderate, incompetent and not remorseful when they made mistakes.
14. As an attorney in Durban I gave my client, Santam Bank, the boot.
15. My exposure, as an attorney in Durban, to bank criminality.
16. Banks even turn on their own.
17. ABSA’s fraud perpetrated against a hapless ABSA customer.
18. A brief summary of only some, of many Nedbank shenanigans and criminal conduct.
19. Nedbank’s repertoire of criminality against our children.
20. Nedbank’s involvement in the theft of a cheque and an ID document.
21. The fraud of Nedbank and its attorneys causes the loss of their victims’ business and house.
22. Nedbank’s takes a second bite at its fraud cherry with its Pretoria case.
23. Nedbank’s Head Honcho, Richard Laubscher, gets his arse kicked and a judgement entered against him in the Small Claims Court for Nedbanks mischief.
24. Bluebean’s reputation stinks.
25. The pong of Standard Bank’s reputation is even worse than that of Bluebean.
32. Attorney and banks are like peas in a pod.
13. The Banking Ombudsman said: Banks are inconsiderate, incompetent and not remorseful when they made mistakes
I should actually add the following words to the caption of this paragraph:
“Banks have a natural propensity for criminal and unconscionable behaviour”
(a) In an article that appeared in the Star some time ago the following was stated:
“Banks are inconsiderate, incompetent and not remorseful when they made mistakes, according to the banking ombudsman”. (My underlining)
(b) And then there was an article in the Sunday Times titled, ‘Bank’s cries of “Who, us?” lost on all but themselves’.
(c) The article entitled, “ABSA does the grey shoe shuffle”, appeared in Noseweek of 21 March 1998. It concerned ABSA’s perjurious concealment in its discovery affidavit in a civil trial of a document that (when eventually exposed) sent ABSA’s case down the toilet. I thereafter actually lodged a complaint against ABSA’s Attorneys, Ross and Jacobs, and they threatened to sue me for defamation. But it is with deep disappointment that I have to say that more than two years have passed and they have still not done so. I posted a copy of my complaint to the Law Society on my website under the heading, “ATTORNEYS ROSS AND JACOBS AND ABSA’S PERJURY”. If you go to www.coen-vanwyk.blogspot.com and click on the link, “ATTORNEYS ROSS AND JACOBS AND ABSA’S PERJURY” you will get to the following poison that would take you to a relatively neat rendition of my letter and affidavit.
What follows is my letter and affidavit to the Director of the Law Society of the Northern Provinces regarding a clear case of perjury perpetrated by ABSA and in which Ross and Jacobs gleefully participated. I say, “gleefully”, because the mentioned attorneys obviously charged ABSA big bucks for the perjurious material that they had prepared for ABSA to sign.
Incidentally, the ABSA and Ross and Jacobs monkey business were reported in Noseweek and it was read by the Director of the Law Society of the Northern Provinces. But it did not bother him at all.
But even when I lodged the formal complaint with the Law Society of the Northern Provinces he did not (true to character) take action, which is hardly surprising, given the fact that Ross and Jacobs had representation on the council of the law society.
And the mischief was therefore blessed
by the Law Society.
Now how cosy is that?
I may mention that the project is still ongoing and David Hersch (ABSA’s victim in the case) recently emailed me from Israel and told me that he picked up my link containing the ABSA poison, on the Internet and that he wishes to meet with me when he returns to South Africa.
(d) ‘All banks are evil’
That is the caption of an article that appeared in an IOL newsletter that I recently received. The short summary reads as follows:
‘“Austin, Texas – Money management websites promising to save the Internet generation from financial disaster made their case to technology trendsetters at South By Southwest Interactive (SXSW) gathering.
‘”All banks are evil,” Mint.com founder Aaron Patzer said Monday while taking part in a ‘Finance 2.0’ panel discussion.’
‘”Banks are self-serving. Banks are slow moving … the websites they put out are crap…’
(e) In the edition (April 2009) of Noseweek there is an article titled, “Calling banks to account.” As soon as it moves to the top of my priority list, I will submit an article to Noseweek regarding the Standard Bank theft of money.
The article tells the story of two bank clients (Bailey and Klatzow), who demanded and collected money from their banks for their time that was wasted by their banks.
The mentioned articles are but some of many that deal with the bizarre criminal, unethical and unconscionable behaviour that form part of the culture of the banking industry.
(f) The following list of bad press for bank shows that the mischief of banks is not a recent phenomenon:
- Come now, Nedcor do you really think we’re that gullible? 6/5/2001 (Sunday Times).
- More Nedcor outrage 13/5/2001 (Sunday Times)
- Nedbank loses appeal 10/9/2000 (Sunday Times)
- This scheme is rotten to the Nedcor 29/4/01 (Sunday Times)
- Nedcor tradition of timely evolution 28/3/2000 (Star)
- Banks “don’t care about the poor” 2/3/99 (Star)
- Why didn’t my bank protect me? 28/10/2000 (Star)
- Banks will have to get house in order 3/9/2000 (Sunday Times)
- It’s all a bit rich, so many snouts in the corporate trough 20/5/01 (Sunday Times)
- If you screw up, Chris, rather just admit it 20/5/2001 (Sunday Times)
- Ombudsman gets R1-m back for unhappy customers 20/8/99 (Star)
- Bank’s cries of “Who, us?” lost on all but themselves. 6/5/2001 (Sunday Times)
- Can you really bank on your cash? 6/11/99 (Star)
- Banks’ fine print will be read in your favour 18/11/200 (Star)
- Code there for your protection 4/3/2000 (Star)
- Banks try to renew good faith 22/3/2000 (Star)
- Ombudsman’s bark puts the bite on banks in his first 18 months 22/8/1999 (Sunday Times)
- Banks rapped over the knuckles for unfair practice. 22/11/99 (Sunday Times)
- Banks get poor marks for service 9/5/2001 (Star)
14. As an attorney in Durban, I gave my client, Santam Bank, the boot
I record that when I practised as an attorney in Durban under the name and style of C.H. van Wyk and Co, I rented offices in the Santam building and, as a litigating attorney, received regular instructions from Santam Bank. My law firm also did a considerable number of transfers for Santam Insurance, regarding deceased estates in which it was appointed as executor.
As will appear from what follows, I sacrificed all of that when I was simply not willing to participate in Santam Bank’s criminal shenanigans. What follows are particulars of what caused me to give Santam Bank the boot.
At a particular juncture it transpired that in one of the cases that I handled for Santam Bank, the date of the contract in the matter in which I was instructed to issue summons, was incorrect (due to bad instructions from the bank). Since summons had already been issued and served on the basis of the incorrect information; and I had also obtained an interdict in terms of which a Jaguar XJ6 was removed from the possession of the debtor (a medical Doctor), I was unable, due to the defective summons, to proceed with the matter by applying for default judgement. The Doctor did not defend the action.
But the collections clerk of Santam Bank told me that a mere forgery of the contract would solve the problem. When I reacted with profound indignation and told him that I would not be a party to that type of conduct, he told me that he had done that type of thing often before with other attorneys that Santam Bank had instructed. We spoke on the phone and I told him that he must come and collect the file, and all the other files regarding their matters and, as I put it, “steek dit in jou gat op” (stick it up your arse).
I must admit that Santam Bank’s work was very lucrative but my outburst was not an emotional, out of control, reaction. I simply did not want to be an attorney of Santam Bank because in due course the particular scoundrel may forget that I am not one of the shyster attorneys that participated in the forgery capers. And then again, I did not want to be associated with criminals who blatantly and shamelessly perpetrated their criminal deeds.
I realised that kicking Santam Bank’s arse would inevitably cause the loss of the Santam Insurance deeds office work. But I decided that I would rather rid myself of all legal work emanating from financial institutions, and retain my integrity. And that was the end of that honeymoon.
15. My exposure, as an attorney in Durban, to bank criminality
But in my Durban law practice I also dealt with a vast number of cases where my clients were exposed to criminal conduct of banks. One matter that stands out involved a forged suretyship in which the name of a debtor was skilfully inserted by Trust Bank into a suretyship that my client signed regarding another account, which had already been paid in full. The amount involved was R109 000 which translates into a huge amount of money if converted to present-day values.
The bank bought a typewriter for doing the forgery and to ensure that the typeface of the typewriter could not be traced back to the bank, gave the machine as a going-away present to a typist. The forgery was so skilfully performed that my client had to spend a vast amount of money on forensic investigations to uncover it. Fortunately my client was a multi-millionaire and he was able to fund the investigations.
What I had stated is the short version of the saga, because the bank tried every trick in the book and bribed witness. But we successfully countered all the mischief and in due course the bank made a final attempt to succeed in the action, by attempting to eliminate me as the attorney of their opponent. It attempted to do that by making me the offer that if I should amalgamate my law firm with that of the bank’s attorneys, then the bank would give all its work to us.
I declined the offer and the bank eventually abdicated its attempts to screw my client out of his money.
16. Banks even turn on their own
So, be afraid, be very afraid, because banks are extremely dangerous and capable of ruthless, callous, psychopathic, behaviour with no regard for the dignity and feelings of others. Any person with any doubt about that should read, “The Infernal Tower”, by Bob Aldworth to see how ABSA criminally dealt with several of its own.
17. ABSA’s fraud perpetrated against a hapless ABSA customer
During 2001 I protected a young couple, Marlene and David Saunders, against the consequences of four counts of fraud that were perpetrated against them by ABSA.
In due course I addressed a letter to Dr. D C Cronjé, the Chairman of the Board of Directors (at the time) of ABSA and personally delivered it by hand. The purpose of the letter was to implicate the ABSA Board of Directors in the crimes that had been committed by ABSA.
In the letter I brought to Cronje’s attention the fact that since March 1999, ABSA had obtained four judgments by fraud against Saunders in the same case and I recorded that a number of people, that includes, but is not limited to, the CEO, Nallie Bosman, a director, Louis von Zeuner, the General Manager: Group Legal Services, Advocate Koos Wepener, the “Hoof van die Regsafdeling” at ABSA (as he identified himself to me), Johan Mostert, and the Manager: Personal and Small Business Recovery Services Gauteng East / West, Ernst Sievers, has become aware of the criminal conduct of employees of the Plaintiff and the Plaintiff’s attorney. I stated that the mentioned people “associated” themselves “with, in the broad sense of the word, the offence committed” and that the following quotation from South African Criminal Law and Procedure (Burchell and Hunt) is applicable:
‘To constitute a person an accessory after the fact in South Africa it is sufficient to establish that assistance was given to the principal offender in circumstances from which it would appear that the giver “associated” himself ” with, in the broad sense of the word, the offence committed.’
I stated that it clear from the legal authority that under some circumstances “impassivity” on the part of a person, when it occurs after the commission of an offence, constitutes the offence of accessory after the fact.
I thereafter dealt briefly with the four judgements that ABSA fraudulently obtained against Saunders.
I may mention that for more than three years ABSA failed to respond to the copious allegations concerning its criminal conduct contained in hundreds of pages of affidavits that I drafted in the matter, but in due course the Randburg Magistrate’s court ordered ABSA to respond and its reaction thereto was to abdicate by proposing that the matter be settled on the basis that it withdraws its action against Saunders and that we do not proceed with criminal actions and law society complaints in the matter. This matter is, unbeknown to ABSA, also still ongoing in my book and was reactivated in my scheme of things when I noticed Louis van Zeuner’s bloated mug in the Business Times of the Sunday Times of 13 September 2009, and read that he will take over as deputy group chief director and will report to Maria Ramos, the group’s CEO.
Now Van Zeuner and I had a telephone conversation on 14 June 2001 regarding the mentioned judgements that ABSA fraudulently obtained against Saunders and he was quite thrilled with ABSA’s fraud and the outcome thereof.
At this point in time I am toying with the idea of addressing an open letter to Maria Ramos regarding the fraudulent judgements and Van Zuenert’s conduct as accessory after the fact, after I had brought the fraudulent conduct to his attention. I may address Van Zeuner and afford him an opportunity to respond, and thereafter address Ramos. And thereafter I could approach Noseweek and see whether it would publish the open letter.
18. A brief summary of only some of many Nedbank shenanigans and criminal conduct
I will now briefly discuss a few instances (of many, many, many) Nedbank criminal and unconscionable high jinks.
In one matter Nedbank stole a cheque and ID document, In another matter a Nedbank manager, Andrew Simpson, committed fraud and its attorney, Ms. Combrink later fraudulently obtained default judgement against the Nedbank victims.
And in yet another matter Nedbank appears to have instituted an action regarding a cause of action that had already become res judicata.
And then there is also a matter in which Luan Woods sued Richard Laubscher, Nedbank’s Chief Executive Officer, at the time, and obtained judgement against him in the Durban Small Claims court.
In what follows immediately here below I will discuss Nedbank’s waywardness under the following captions:
(a) Nedbank’s repertoire of criminality against my clients.
(b) Nedbank’s involvement in the theft of a cheque and an ID document.
(c) Nedbank’s fraud causes the loss of its victims’ business and home.
(d) Nedbank takes a second bite at its fraud cherry.
(e) Nedbank’s Head Honcho, Richard Laubscher, gets his arse kicked and a judgement entered against him in the Small Claims court for Nedbanks mischief.
19. Nedbank’s repertoire of criminality against my clients
In the last year of the previous millennium I was introduced to Nedbank’s propensity for criminal conduct when not only a cheque of one of my clients presented to Nedbank for payment, was spirited away by the bank, but even her ID document that was handed to Nedbank at the time, suffered the same fate.
But in the new millennium Nedbank bumped up its criminal shenanigans against our family members when one of it managers, Andrew Simpson, fraudulently dishonoured a debit order and that caused one a young couple to lose their business, house and all their belongings of value.
But Nedbank thereafter even made a further attempt to trample its mentioned victims even further into the ground, by fraudulently issuing summons against the victims in Pretoria, on what appears to have been the same cause of action on which Nedbank had already fraudulently obtained judgement against them.
I will now discuss the mentioned Nedbank monkey business under the following headings:
(a) Nedbank’s involvement in the theft of a cheque and an ID document
(b) Nedbank’s fraud causes the loss of its victims’ business and home
(c) Nedbank takes a second bite at its fraud cherry
20. Nedbank’s involvement in the theft of a cheque and an ID document
I have prepared the following account mainly from memory since I have not gone to the trouble of digging up the relevant file in my archives. The narrative is however completely accurate in material respects.
During 1999 my client, Marlene Saunders, went to cash a cheque at Nedbank, Fourways in Sandton. She handed the cheque to the teller and she was required to hand her ID document to the teller. The teller, the cheque and the ID document soon thereafter disappeared through a door behind the tellers. When the teller returned shortly thereafter she told Marlene that they are verifying the signature on the cheque and availability of funds, but since they are very busy, it may take a while. Marlene said that she has other business in the mall and would return later. When she asked for her ID she was told that they are making a copy of it (which happens to be illegal).
Marlene left to do other business in the shopping centre and when she returned nobody knew anything about the cheque, or her ID document. She also noticed that the teller that she had dealt with was not in attendance at the tellers’ desk. When she finally succeeded in identifying the teller with a description, she was told that the teller is on lunch and that there is nothing that can be done about the matter until she had returned. Marlene pointed out that there are video cameras focussed on the tellers but the response that she received was that the recordings can only be viewed at the end of the day.
Marlene had urgent matters to attend to, such as collecting children from school, and left. When she thereafter returned to the bank she was confronted with the allegation that the cheque had been cashed. She denied that she cashed the cheque, or received the money and her ID document, but Nedbank simply gave her a cold shoulder. Her demand that she be allowed to view the tape regarding the payout, was ignored. She then approached me for assistance.
In the days that followed Nedbank eventually viewed the recording and established that the money was not paid to Marlene. But they actually had the audacity to contend that she was in cahoots with the person who did indeed cash the cheque. Nedbank finally conceded that it made a serious error after reviewing the tapes.
When I got involved I decided on ambush tactics and did not identify myself as a lawyer. In due course I had a telephone conversation with a very inexperienced and cocky “internal legal adviser” of Nedbank, who told me that the bank would sue Marlene and me for a lot of money, if the incident is published to other parties. I told her to “swallow a fart” since she would be more effective when doing that, than by attempting to intimidate me. I disclosed to her the fact that I had been a lawyer for some 35 years and that I am still active as such. I demanded that the money and the ID be returned within 8 hours, failing which I would lodge a criminal complaint against her and the bank. When she reacted with shock and asked me what crime she had committed, I pointed out to her that her question contains a concession that Nedbank had committed a crime, because she did not ask me what crime Nedbank is alleged to have committed. I told her that she had become an accessory after the fact by associating herself with the offence committed.
Nedbank eventually paid the money concerning the cheque to Marlene, but her ID document was never found. When I penned these words I put on my journalist hat and decided that will dig up this matter and start harassing Nedbank. The criminal complaints had not yet become prescribed and the legal eagle who tried to scare me actually also committed the crime of intimidation.
I have therefore reactivated the matter.
21. The fraud of Nedbank and its attorneys causes the loss of their victims’ business and house
Since I have not gone to the trouble of digging up the relevant file in my archives, I have also prepared the following account, mainly from memory. The narrative is however completely accurate in material respects.
During the period, 1999 to 2001, I assisted a young couple with two small children, who had lost everything because of fraud that Nedbank and its attorneys, De Villiers, Evans & Petit (represented by Ms.P.Combrink) perpetrated on them.
The first thing that they lost was their business, a Shell franchise. What happened was that, for a considerable time, they enjoyed a bridging overdraft facility that they used every time that they needed fuel to be delivered by the oil company. The amount that they had to pay for every delivery was such that they simply did not have that amount of cash money available, given that their business was in its initial growth stage. They had a standing arrangement with their bank manager that they would have a bridging facility on their account whenever they order fuel. The facility would endure for a few days and would be negated in that period by fuel sales.
And then a new manager, one Andrew Simpson, arrived on the scene and on the occasion of the first fuel delivery he fraudulently dishonoured Shell’s debit order, and actually thereafter did so again on several occasions. He did so because he did not go to the trouble of checking his client’s file. There was therefore, at least dolus eventualis, on his part.
The upshot of Simpson’s despicable, callous, summarily dishonouring of the debit order, was that Shell informed the my clients that all future fuel deliveries would be conditional on cash being paid in advance, and not by way of a debit order. Since they did not have the required amount of cash available, they pleaded with the Shell, informing it that Nedbank had erred in dishonouring the debit order. Shell relented and said that it would reinstate the former payment arrangement if my clients procured a letter from Nedbank in which it confirms that it is indeed the bank’s error that caused the dishonouring the debit order.
It is ever so fortunate that the husband (to whom I shall hereinafter refer to as “my client”) phoned me at that juncture because I told him to record the conversation when he speaks to Simpson regarding the letter to Shell. He phoned Simpson who agreed to write the letter and offered to fax it to Shell. my client said that it would be better if he collects the letter and hands it to Shell’s representative.
Simpson therefore arranged with my client that the letter to Shell would be ready for collection at Nedbank’s reception desk the follow morning. However, when my client arrived at reception the following day, nobody knew anything about the letter that was to be collected. The receptionist who attended to my client went to speak to Simpson, to enquire about the letter. When she returned she said that Simpson told her that Nedbank had informed him that he cannot let my client have the letter that was agreed upon, because my client would then be able to sue Nedbank.
When my client reported to Shell on what had transpired, the franchisor was not prepared to grant any further leeway in the matter and changed the status of the account to “cash with order”. That presented another profound problem in that there was usually a considerable delay between the time of placing of the order (and paying a huge amount of cash when placing the order) and the actual delivery of the fuel. So, suddenly my client had a service station with no fuel.
He therefore had no alternative but to go to “pirate” suppliers who were prepared to deliver fuel on a deliver-now-pay-thereafter basis. Apart from the higher price, there was also another problem with that arrangement, being that to buy from “pirates” constituted a violation of a material term of the franchise agreement. They therefore lived to trade another day, for a short period of time, before Shell de-franchised them.
They then went through a period during which they inter alia prepared sandwiches and other items that they sold though hawkers, eventually started liquidating their chattel to buy food, starting with CD’s, moving to dining room chairs (one chair at a time), extending the process to other furniture, and movables and other items of profound sentimental value, that had been collected over the years.
In due course Nedbank foreclosed on their house and by that time their spirit appears to have been broken and they did not enlist my help when they got the summons. By the time I become aware of it, it was too late to do anything about it.
But Nedbank also instituted an action pertaining to the overdraft against both the my client in the Durban court, and with that I became involved by preparing legal documents for them. In doing so I was able to ward off judgement against them for quite some time.
But at that juncture there appeared a light at the end of the tunnel when both the husband and the wife managed to procure employment. There was however one serious problem with the employment and that was, “distance”. Their respective places of employment were more than 100 km apart and I was in Sandton, more than 600 km from the nearest one of them.
In due course the defended matter in Durban progressed to the discovery stage and the following transpired:
(a) I prepared a discovery affidavit for the my clients and in the affidavit I obviously disclosed (as the parties are obliged to do) all the tape recordings that incriminate Nedbank. What follows in bold italics are particulars of some of the items that they discovered:
1. Tape recording of a telephone conversation that Defendant had with Andrew Simpson, the business Manager of the Plaintiff. The conversation dealt with the illegal and wrongful dishonouring of payments by the Plaintiff and the undertaking of Simpson to address a letter to Shell and confirming that the payment was not dishonoured due to any fault on the part of the Defendant.
- A. Tape recording and transcript of a conversation that Defendant had with a member of the reception staff at the offices of the Plaintiff when the Defendant went to collect the letter (as referred to in item 1 of Part A) but was informed that Simpson refuses to furnish the letter in terms of his earlier undertaking (as referred to in item 1 of Part A).
- B. Tape recording and transcript of a telephone conversation that Defendant had with Andrew Simpson, the business Manager of the Plaintiff. The conversation inter alia dealt with Simpson’s;
- failure to respond to telephone calls of the Defendant;
- failure to return policy documents to the Defendant; and
- false allegation that he is unable to transfer the telephone call to his superior (Mr. Reddy).
- B. Tape recording of a telephone conversation that the Defendant had with Mr. Reddy, the General Manager of the Plaintiff. The conversation inter alia dealt with the issues mentioned in the previous item.
- C. Tape recordings of a telephone conversation with an employee regarding the Plaintiff’s failure to respond to the Defendants letters depicted as items 2 and 3 of Part B.
(b) When called upon to do so Nedbank’s, attorneys delivered a discovery affidavit of one, Johannes Andreas Olivier, albeit that in typical attorney fashion, the discovery affidavit was perjurious in that documents that needed to be discovered, were fraudulently and perjuriously concealed. In that regard I inter alia recorded the following regarding the perjury that Nedbank’s attorneys helped Olivier client to perpetrate”
“We notice that you have not discovered copies of the statements of the accounts that your clients rendered in this matter. He also makes no mention of the notes that Simpson made concerning the dishonouring of debit items, an act that caused our financial demise. Did Johannes Andreas Olivier (“Olivier”) therefore commit perjury and are you guilty of subornation of perjury or as an accessory?”
(c) And then the god’s suddenly decided that it is time to start smiling upon us when Nedbank’s attorneys fraudulently obtained judgement against the my client, and in that manner brought an end to the legal proceedings, and for that matter, the whole case, to such an extent that it enabled my clients to devote their attention to rebuilding their life.
In what follows I will explain the interaction of the various circumstances that caused the criminal conduct of Nedbank’s attorneys, in fraudulently obtaining judgement against my clients , to be such fortunate shenanigans.
(d) Just before the gods began smiling upon us the my clients, the hapless Nedbank fraud victims, my clients found themselves in the dire situation evidenced by the following facts:
- Nedbank’s attorneys enrolled the matter for trial on 12 June 2001
- Given the fact that they were employed, the defrauded couple simply did not have the freedom to attend court and neither did they have the financial resources to travel more than 100 km to do so. It was, for all practical purposes impossible for them to attend court on the trial day.
- Given the absurd and unrealistic criteria of the Legal Aid means test, they simply would not qualify for legal aid and could in any event not afford an attorney.
- I was unable to provided on site support because I had started writing as a columnist for an aviation magazine; having previously qualified as an Air Force pilot and served as a fighter pilot and transport pilot on three Air Force squadrons.
- I was also appointed as legal adviser for the publisher of the magazine and in due course I was also appointed as legal adviser for the production company of the magazine.
- And then the time came that I represented the Managing Editor of the magazine at the CCMA regarding a sexual harassment matter and got him off the hook.
Given what I have just stated, the defrauded couple was therefore unable to protect themselves against Nedbank’s onslaughts; by opposing the matter in court on the trial day. Not only did they not have the time available to attend court more that 100 km from their base, but they also did not have the money to appoint an attorney to act for them.
(e) But then the gods started smiling and the following happened:
- On 8 June 2001 I had a conversation with Nedbank’s attorney, Ms. Combrink, during which she informed me that they will apply for an adjournment on the trial day, being 12 June 2001, because (so she alleged) she is ever so “greatly prejudiced” in her endeavours to prepare for trial, because she inter alia did not have copies of two letters that my client had addressed to Nedbank during 1999. Incidentally, at that juncture, facsimile copies of the letters had been in her client’s possession for more than two years.
- It was clear from the drivel that she oozed and her reference to the tape recordings that incriminated Nedbank, that she and her client was petrified by the existence of the incriminating tape recordings, and were not ready to be confronted in court on 12 June 2001 with the dreaded incriminating evidence in the form of tape recordings.
- Although she had no valid grounds on which she could apply for an adjournment, the my client did indeed have grounds for an adjournment and I inter alia pointed out to her that Nedbank did not discovered copies of the statements of accounts pertaining to the matter, and the notes that the fraudster, Andrew Simpson, made concerning the dishonouring of debit items, and communications in that regard.
- Since it was clear that the matter would not proceed on the trial date because both parties wanted an adjournment, I drafted and caused a letter dated 10 June 2001 to be faxed to Combrink in which I stated the following in the first paragraph:
“We record at the outset that it is clear that the parties on both sides in this case content that the conduct of its opponent is (or has been) such that the party is entitled to an adjournment. We therefore suggest that you take an order, by consent, in terms of which the trial is adjourn sine die and the costs be reserved for argument in the main action.”
Combrink never responded to the letter and if she did not find the suggestion acceptable, then she should have informed me accordingly. It was clear from the telephone conversations that I had with her that the parties were in agreement that the trail would not continue on 12 June and that the my clients would not be at court on that day. The only issue on which consensus needed to be reached, was the issue of costs.
The fact that the my clients would not be at court is further borne out by the following words in my letter dated 10 June that I prepared and that was faxed to Combrink:
“We therefore suggest that you take an order, by consent, in terms of which the trial is adjourn sine die and the costs be reserved for argument in the main action.” (My underlining.)
I have no hesitation in stating that, had the magistrate been aware of the letter, then the judgements that were granted on 12 June would not have been granted. I should actually say, “The judgements should not have been granted”, because over the decades I have witnessed the most appalling conduct of magistrates and judges in court matters.
- fraudulently concealed from the court the letter;
- fraudulently concealed from the court her knowledge of the reason why my clients were not at court on 12 June; and fraudulently obtained judgement against my clients.
The fact that Combrink realised that her conduct constituted fraud is clearly evidenced by the fact that the very next day she wrote as follows to Nedbank:
“I confirm that the first and second defendants failed to appear at court on 12th June 2001, being the date on which the trial had been enrolled for hearing.
“Default judgement was accordingly granted against both the first and second defendants and the first defendant’s counterclaim was dismissed.
“There is a possibility that the defendants will attempt to apply for the rescission of the judgement against them.”(My underlining of words.)
Her choice of the word “confirm”, in “I confirm”, is rather telling. She can only confirm something (or a possibility) that preceded her letter. A possible inference that can be drawn from her word, “confirm” is that she could have been confirming what she had previously told Nedbank, being that she does not expect my client to be at court and that she would get a default judgement against them. The reason why Combrink did not expect the my clients to be at court on the day of the trial is obviously to be found in the following words of their letter of 10 June:
“We therefore suggest that you take an order, by consent, in terms of which the trial is adjourn sine die and the costs be reserved for argument in the main action.” My underlining of words.)
If they were going to be present at court on the day of the trial, why would it have been necessary for the suggestion to Combrnk that she should;
“take an order, by consent”?
But Combrink’s following words in her letter to Nedbank also speaks volumes:
“There is a possibility that the defendants will attempt to apply for the rescission of the judgement against them.”
Why did she say that? The only reasonable inference that can be drawn from that perplexing statement, is that she reflected on her surreptitious conduct in applying for judgement against my client, while realising that they were under the impression that she was going to act on their suggestion and;
“take an order, by consent, in terms of which the trial is adjourn sine die and the costs be reserved for argument in the main action.”
If that was not what she was going to do, then she would have (and should have) informed my clients accordingly. Until she did so, her lack of response constituted a clear indication that she was going to act according to their suggestion.
I advised my clients that if Combrink should reject the suggestion and demand that they agree to pay the costs occasioned by the adjournment, that they should do so (albeit under protest). My clients were immensely relieved for the “reprieve” and went about their business of picking up the shattered pieces of their life. I advised them that, in due course they need to lay criminal charges against Andrew Simpson, and Nedbank. I also arranged with my clients that they procure a copy of the order that the court made on 12 June 2001. My client’s wife accordingly arranged for a friend who works in Durban as a legal secretary, to make a copy of the order.
On 15 June 2001 the friend phoned her and told her that judgement had been granted against my clients and the matter enetered a new phase.
(f) A number of things happened after we became aware of the fact that Combrink did not adjourn the matter on 12 June, but as a result of my subsequent abrasive communications with Nedbank regarding Combrink’s conduct, I in due course met with one Sam Bosch in the Sandton office of Nedbank and we discussed the matter. What transpired during that meeting was extremely perplexing, and rather bizarre.
The following are the weird fact that emerged during the meeting:
(i) Bosch was extremely evasive when I enquired about his position at Nedbank and when I, inter alia asked him what he does at Nedbank his reply was that he is actually not sure, albeit that he imparted a banter undertone to what he said.
(ii) The closest that I got to getting a meaningful response from him concerning his connection to Nedbank, was when he responded to my question concerning whether he is working as a subcontractor for Nedbank, by saying that his brief was to investigate the matter. My impression of Bosch was that he is a bit of a scoundrel, perhaps even an ex-policeman who had been drummed out of the force due to dishonourable conduct, and that he was now used as a debt collector/tracing agent by Nedbank. However, I decided that I do not need any further information from him regarding his exact position in the matter, and we got down to business.
(iii) I briefly related to him the history of the matter and while I was doing so he was paging through a file that he had in front of him. When I got to the issue of the bridging facility, he started shaking his head and I was about to lose my temper because I perceived that as a denial on his part, of the fact that my client’s had arranged bridging facilities for the fuel deliveries. But to my surprise he said to me that the debit order should never have been dishonoured because, even in the absence of a bridging facility, their existing facility covered the debit order.
I responded by telling him that that is impossible because my clients knew that they needed the bridging facility and checked on their account balances every day. He became slightly irritated with me, turned his file around, pushed it towards me and pointed to some figures contained in, what was apparently the statement of the account. I did not immediately absorb the gist of what he intended to point out to me, but I did notice that it was the Nedbank account pertaining to my client’s matter.
When I got to the issue about Combrink’s fraudulent conduct in obtaining judgement in the matter, I got the distinct impression that, not only was Bosch aware of that, but that he also believed that she had indeed surreptitiously obtained judgement. I say so because, to my utter surprise, he then took a letter out of his file and while holding on to it, turned it around and told me to read the letter. The letter was the letter of Combrink, written the day after the trial date, from which I had quoted previously herein. Next to the paragraph;
“Default judgement was accordingly granted against both the first and second defendants and the first defendant’s counterclaim was dismissed.”;
were several vertical lines, and a large “star”, emphasising the paragraph. And the words, “Default judgement”, in the paragraph were ringed.
I was flabbergasted because I actually thought that he was showing me some sort of proof that purports to dispel the contention that Combrink obtained the judgement by resorting to fraud. I therefore asked him what point he is trying to make with the letter and his response was even more baffling. He said that the letter is reconcilable with, and supports the fact, that she obtained a judgement in a manner that is not all that kosher.
Up to that point my impression of Bosch was still that he is a bit of a scoundrel. but soon after he showed me the bank statement, I started to realise that he is a dark horse. When he showed me Combrink’s letter, I realised that his caginess could be due to the fact that he did not want to be too closely linked to Nedbank’s mischief, but still wanted to render a service to them and walk away with their money.
I then, ever so meekly asked him whether he would let me have a copy of the letter, and to my surprise he answered in the affirmative, but added that he would only copy the first page of the letter. It was clear that there was material in the rest of the letter that he did not want me to see. That could have been the reason why he did not hand the letter to me when he showed it to me, but held on to it while I read the first page of the letter.
On reflection, I latter remembered that when I was talking to Bosch, while he was paging through his file, he appeared to be marking something in the file, and I realised that he could have been highlighting the mentioned contents of Combrink’s letter, with the vertical lines and star that I later observed.
Bosch’s said that he is referring the matter back to Nedbank and he gave a clear indication that he is of the opinion that Nedbank should not take any further action against my clients. His demeanour was such that I got the distinct impression that he is disgusted by the conduct of Nedbank and its attorneys.
(g) After the meeting I tried to contact Bosch by speaking to Nedbank’s Senior Legal adviser, Barbara Walsh, but she would not let me have Bosch’s telephone number and in a letter that she addressed to me, she informed me as follows:
“Mr. Bosch … has advised the writer that … there would be no merit in you telephoning him.”
I found that disgusting caginess and cover-up antics of Nedbank nauseating in the extreme. I verily believe that Bosch fell out with Nedbank and they were desperate in their attempts to prevent him from incriminates Nedbank by communicating with me. I don’t believe for one moment that “Bosch … has “advised” Barbara Walsh “that … there would be no merit in” me “telephoning him”. I verily believe that she lied through her teeth.
Given the extent to which he was prepared to incriminate Nedbank (and did indeed incriminate the bank) during our meeting, inter alia by disclosing information regarding the overdraft facility, and Combrink’s incriminating letter, and his demeanour during our meeting, I am of the opinion that he strongly vented his opinions when he later reported to Nedbank on our meeting, and that their relationship thereafter terminated.
(h) For a considerable time thereafter, all was quiet on the Nedbank front, until fairly recently, when a law practice accosted the my clients with the allegation that they had taken cession of Nedbanks debts, and made a demand for an amount that has been fraudulently inflated. And the upshot of that is that I have recently, after I had become aware of the shenanigans, donned my journalism and activism hat, and I am now going after inter alia Nedbank, De Villiers and Petit, Combrink, Andrew Simpson, and the new shysters on the block, with a passionate vengeance.
The fact that De Villiers and Petit (and Combrink) did not take action against my clients pursuant to the judgement, is, in my opinion, a clear indication that they realised that it would be risky to proceed with steps in execution regarding a judgement that had been obtained by fraud. That opinion is fortified by the fact that Nedbank ceded their claim, quite a considerable time after the judgement was granted, despite the fact that my clients had been at the same address where they were when judgement was granted. And yet Nedbank’s attorneys did not proceed against them in terms of the judgement.
The bad news for all the people that I have mentioned is that my clients have no say in the matter, have no control over me, and cannot incur any liability due to my actions.
22. Nedbank’s takes a second bite at its fraud cherry with its Pretoria case
For quite some time after my meeting with Bosch, I heard nothing further regarding the Nedbank saga, until my clients received a new summons from Nedbank regarding an action that was instituted in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court by attorneys Hack, Stupel and Ross. In the summons Nedbank’s attorneys fraudulently alleged the following:
“THE WHOLE CAUSE OF ACTION AROSE WITHIN THE JURISDICTION OF THE ABOVE HONOURABLE COURT.”
At the time I was working as a consultant for a law firm in Midrand and the firm went on record for my clients and I entered an appearance to defend and requested the following further particulars to the summons:
‘The Defendant requires full particulars of the facts on which the Plaintiff relies in alleging that “THE WHOLE CAUSE OF ACTION AROSE WITHIN THE JURISDICTION OF THE ABOVE HONOURABLE COURT”
The upshot of that request was that Nedbank’s attorneys withdrew the action. It is clear that they hoped that by issuing a summons in Pretoria, more than 600km distant from where my clients were residing, it would be impossible for them to defend the action, and Nedbank would get a judgement against them. They were obviously unaware (or lost sight) of the fact that my clients were now in a stronger position in resisting Nedbank’s shenanigans (viewed from a legal and moral perspective) in their attempts to extort money that was not due to Nedbank.. The reason why my clients were in a stronger position is that the Pretoria court is less than 40 km from where I was based at the time.
Now there is a misconception among attorneys that they can lie and deceive with impunity when acting for a party, and that they can, when called upon to explain their deceit, use a magical phrases such as, “that is how my client instructed me”. But that should not protect an attorney who makes the following false statement in a summons that he signed regarding a matter in which he had been instructed:
“The whole cause of action arose within the jurisdiction of the above honourable court”
If he is called upon to provide the facts on which he based his contention in the summons, then he needs to produce the facts. Now in Nedbank’s Pretoria case against my clients there were no facts supporting a contention that the whole cause of action arose within the jurisdiction of the Pretoria court. The allegation is therefore false and the attorney that signed the summons, containing the false allegation, therefore attempted fraud.
But what is rather telling is the fact that Nedbank issued summons in Pretoria on the same cause of action on which it already had judgement in Durban. Apart from the fact that the matter was res judicata the conduct of Nedbank’s attorneys sent a clear message that they are petrified about proceeding with steps on the fraudulently obtained judgement.
As a journalist and activist, I am presently busy with projects aimed at prosecution all the scoundrels that were involved in the plethora of criminal acts perpetrated against my clients in this matter; and having the attorneys involved in the mischief, censured.
The penultimate paragraph under the heading, “Nedbank’s fraud causes the loss of its victims’ business and a house”, contains the reason why I have now also reactivated my endeavours against attorneys Hack, Stupel and Ross.
23. Nedbank’s Head Honcho, Richard Laubscher, gets his arse kicked and a judgement entered against him in the Small Claims Court for Nedbank’s mischief
Some years ago Nedbank messed with the wrong lady, Luan Woods, when, for more than a year, it failed to reverse debits that it raised for a credit card that, due to an error, was never issued to Woods. A year later she sprang into action and made a demand for payment of R930 on Richard Laubscher, Nedbank’s Chief Executive Officer, at the time. An extract of her letter of demand reads as follows:
“I’m sickened by the charges on my account, knowing that I have to beg and plead with your staff members to rectify a seemingly small problem. I refuse to expend any more of my time and energy on inefficient people.
“The problem is now yours. Should you choose to ignore this letter, a summons will follow for your personal appearance in the Durban Small claims Court.
“I demand reimbursement of the following, in full, within 14 days:
All moneys debited from my bank account for the cancelled credit card, plus interest = R288.48.
- Travelling costs to the bank to rectify the matter: three round trips @R3.20 per km (46km per trip) = R441.60.
- Loss of personal time – R200
Grand total R930.”
Both Nedbank and Laubscher failed to comply with her demand; she issued summons in the Durban Small Claims Court; neither Laubscher nor Nedbank attended court on the trial date; and she obtained judgement in the matter.
After a failed attempt by Nedbank to get Woods to sign a confidentiality agreement, Nedbank paid the full amount of the judgment and cost.
24. Bluebean’s reputation stinks
I have downloaded from http://www.hellopeter.co.za a vast number of horrendous reports and complaints concerning the high jinks of Bluebean. In addition a Google search revealed a plethora of other particularly irate victims of Bluebean’s tomfoolery. One of them has a website appropriately named, “Bluebean Sucks”. One thing is clear and that is that there is a lot of anger against Standard Bank and Bluebean out there.
As soon as I have some time available for a new project, I will look into the possibility of mobilizing all the Standard Bank victims in a class action against the scoundrels. In the meantime I have posted the following invitation on the forum, “Bluebean Sucks”.
I am a lawyer, journalist, activist and master shit stirrer. I presently have Bluebean, Vodacom and Telkom in my sights. If anyone wants to tell me about crap that they had from any person, then email me at email@example.com. I specialise in harassing attorneys and law societies. Whatever I do for you I do free of charge. I can assure you that you have rights that you may not even be aware of.
The following analysis on Hellopeter shows the putrid reputation of Bluebean with 90% of the complainants expressing disgust with Bluebean.
25. The pong of Standard Bank’s reputation is even worse than that of Bluebean
The following analysis on Hellopeter shows the rotten reputation of Standard Bank with 83% of the complainants expressing disgust with the bank. The fact that more than 2 800 people go to the trouble of expressing their disgust with Standard Bank, on Hellopeter, is rather significant. But Standard Bank continues to rake in the money while screwing the public. So, why should it worry?
32. Attorney and banks are like peas in a pod
Banks and attorneys are notorious for behaving deplorable towards those whose money they take on the pretext that that they will render a service to the hapless payer of money. A cursory perusal of newspaper reports and the law reports reveals the enormity of the mischief of banks and attorneys. I have previously dealt with a miniscule portion of the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the monkey business of banks and will now deal with some attorney monkey business.
When last I checked the situation in KwaZulu-Natal was that an average of more than one attorney is struck off the role every month, and in the majority of cases the reason is theft of their clients’ money.
Figures that I got from your Law Society during 2005 revealed that during the first four years of the new millennium 117 attorneys were struck off the role and 60 were suspended. The following quotation is from information that I gleaned from the Society’s website earlier this year:
“The names of 33 attorneys were, on application by the Law Society, struck from the roll of practicing attorneys, whilst 11 practitioners were suspended by the Court and 2 were instructed not to practice for their own account. During July 2008 112 applications for suspensions and strikings were still to be heard.”
So, the mischief of attorneys is gaining momentum in your area. During the first four years of the new millennium the average strikings and suspensions per year were 29.25 and 15 respectively. The latest figure is already standing at 33 strikings; and then there is the following further information in that regard on the Society’s website:
“…in terms of Rule 101, the conduct of 20 attorneys was referred to the Council for consideration of High Court applications for suspensions and strikings.”
And don’t forget that the Law Society reports that;
“ During July 2008 112 applications for suspensions and strikings were still to be heard.”
So, the number of strikings and suspensions are bound to rise.
But the following printscreen “snapshot” from your Law Society’s website is also informative and paints an ugly picture of attorneys’ misconduct themselves:
And then I also gleaned the following information from the relevant website:
“695 attorneys and one candidate attorney appeared before the Committees and 74 members made use of legal counsel. 445 complainants and witnesses attended the Disciplinary Committee meetings.”
A monthly average of 58 attorneys were hauled before disciplinary committees and apart from the people who made up the committees, there were also 445 complainants and witnesses involved in the procedures. And those are just the figures for one of the law societies in South Africa. The amount of money involved in dealing with the shysters truly boggles the mind.
But that is not where it ends because the particular report on the website also states the following:
“During the year under report 6 890 files were closed, of which 4 044 files had been opened during the year under review. During July 2008 1 799 files still had to be completed.”
Furthermore, what I have just quoted from the mentioned website, and the following makes one think, and makes the attorney profession stink:
(a) An article in the Star titled, “Assets of fugitive attorney sold”, and concerning one of your Durban colleagues, Ian Stokes, who skipped the country, left his wife and her unborn foetus behind, but took, instead, an estimated R28-million from his trust fund with him.
(b) An article titled, “Two accused of R220m scam”, which deals with two attorneys who unofficially represented the Cape Province and Gauteng in the “Attorneys Theft Championship”.
(c) An article in the Sunday Times titled, “Lawyer probed after R358m stolen from clients”, which reports a statement on behalf of the Attorneys Fidelity Fund and states that “More than 200 lawyers are under investigation or have been struck off the roll after allegedly embezzling R358-million in trust money.”
(d) Just to show that some attorneys are not just adept at impoverishing their client, but that they can also enrich themselves by doing damage to our country, there are particulars of an article in the Sunday Times published under the following caption: “Top attorney focus of R350m forex fraud scheme”.
Could it be in their genes?