Standard Bank has officially verified the legitimacy of a proof of payment (POP) provided by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) to AfriForum. This revelation comes in response to accusations by the lobby group, AfriForum, claiming that the receipts submitted by the EFF were forged.
The controversy revolves around legal costs incurred in 2017 when AfriForum successfully interdicted the EFF from advocating for the invasion of unoccupied private land. The Constitutional Court, in a significant development in September, dismissed the EFF’s appeal bid, ordering them to cover the legal costs.
While the funds in question were reflected in AfriForum’s bank accounts, the lobby group insisted that the receipts were doctored. AfriForum took to social media to post the POP, casting doubt on its authenticity and subsequently declared that its private prosecution unit was launching an investigation into the EFF for presenting falsified receipts.
Khaya Sithole, a Chartered Accountant, pointed out certain anomalies in the POP, raising questions about the indication of the board of directors of Standard Bank from two generations ago. Standard Bank, in response, released a statement on Saturday morning, clarifying that the receipts were printed on an outdated template.
The bank acknowledged that an erroneous response was issued by its fraud department to AfriForum, wrongly suggesting that the POPs were fake. Standard Bank is now conducting an internal investigation to address the inaccuracies in its initial communication.