The bank has lost the first round in a R2 million David vs Goliath case.
Johannesburg – Nedbank has lost the first round in a R2million David versus Goliath case, where the bank is accused of racism when dealing with black mortgage-bond holders.
Thina Bambeni is suing Nedbank for R2m for loss of earnings after she was forced to sell her Kempton Park home in January 2018 to cover a court-ordered payment of roughly R377000 when the bank sued her for being slightly in arrears.
The court order was made in June 2016. Bambeni told The Star that she was suing Nedbank because of “unscrupulous banks and their attorneys, who dispossess black clients of our properties in an unjust manner”.
Last week, Nedbank went to court to try to get the lawsuit against it dismissed, but the institution’s case was rejected and it was ordered to pay Bambeni’s legal costs.
Nedbank, according to papers filed at the South Gauteng High Court, reneged on its policy of allowing
Bambeni to affect a payment plan after she was R20705.88 in arrears on her bond, which she received in September 2015.
Bambeni alleged that the June 2016 “unlawful judgment” denied her an opportunity to join the Bonitas Medical Fund’s board of trustees, to which she was nominated in May 2017 and could have earned more than R2m in fees.
This followed a credit check conducted by Bonitas, which found the June 2016 judgment and disqualified her. The correspondence thereof forms part of court papers.
The papers also show that Nedbank, according to an email from its legal representatives Hammond and Pole, dated December 2016, had a policy to allow Bambeni to settle her arrears within three to six months to avoid legal action against her.
She showed in court papers that she fixed her arrears in five months.
The bank, Bambeni alleged, refused to adhere to its own policy as a means of swindling black clients out of their homes.
“The plaintiff (Bambeni) had paid off her outstanding arrears in five months and her mortgage bond was operating in a healthy (and) functional manner,” read Bambeni’s papers.
She’s also suing the bank for an additional R120000 for loss of rental income as she was letting out her Kempton Park property when the home was sold, as well as loss of investment value, which needs to be quantified by an actuary.
In a statement to The Star, Nedbank said: “The judgment dealt with a legal exception raised by Nedbank; that is, technical legal arguments without presenting evidence, which, if successful, might dispense of the matter. Nedbank remains confident in defending the claim by Ms Bambeni.
“The judgment makes no finding on the facts, and merely permits Ms Bambeni to take her pleaded case to trial. Nedbank remains of the view that Ms Bambeni’s claim is without merit, and denies any allegations of improper and or racist treatment against clients.”
Bambeni welcomed last week’s judgment, asserting that she was tired of black people being hoodwinked by “unscrupulous” banks.
“I want Nedbank and big corporates to learn a lesson out of this. The properties, homes and credit scores of black people are highly-valued commodities to us,” she told The Star.