Ex-African bank boss not remorseful

Ex-African bank boss not remorseful

2014-08-17 10:20

Johannesburg - A former African Bank executive, Tami Sokutu, has turned his back on those drowning in debt due to easy loans from the bank.

According to the Sunday Times Sokutu, who made over R50m in share options and earned another R35m in salary and bonuses while he was Abil’s chief risk officer, showed no sign of remorse for the reckless lending to millions of South African’s who could not afford to repay their debt. This, say analysts, has led to the collapse of the bank.

During his interview with the newspaper he reportedly boasted about having made millions and said he was now globetrotting.

Sokutu reportedly owns three houses in South Africa and another in Portugal. 

Arriving drunk

He said he did not need to ever work again and according to him he also owns six luxury cars, including a Porsche and a Bentley.

He said he lived a lavish lifestyle and had no regrets and blamed borrowers for their predicament and said they should not have applied for loans if they were not able to repay them.

Sokutu, a former director-general of the department of public works, was sacked last year as South African Biodiversity Institute chairperson after arriving drunk at the Chelsea Flower Show in London where he was meant to be welcoming guests.

South African Reserve Bank governor Gill Marcus last Sunday announced that African Bank had been placed under curatorship.

She said a consortium involving major banks had committed to underwrite a R10bn capital raising and would engage with shareholders and other participants.

The consortium comprises Absa, Capitec, FirstRand, Investec, Nedbank, Standard Bank and the Public Investment Corporation.

Reckless lending

African Bank's shares plummeted recently after it warned of massive losses and said it needed about R8.5bn in new capital.

Marcus said African Bank served 3.2 million people.

The Debt Counselling Industry said on Monday the NCR should be probed for not properly investigating African Bank.

"Over the past few years, debt counsellors have lodged thousands of complaints, many relating to reckless lending... against the country's major credit providers, including African Bank," founder Deborah Solomon said in a statement at the time, according to Sapa.

"These complaints have repeatedly been sent to the regulator who has chosen to ignore them and the plight of desperate consumers."

However, Motshegare said the NCR conducted an investigation into the bank's lending practices and their impact on consumers last year.

Lending practices

"We investigated the bank last year for reckless lending and entered into a settlement agreement in terms of which the bank paid R20m."

Motshegare said the bank's unsecured lending had declined in 2012, after the regulator "expressed concern" about it in 2011.

However, she admitted that the bank's recent growth in impairments and bad debts "went a lot further than expected".

Motshegare said the NCR would engage the curator of African Bank to ensure the bank's clients were served in a manner that met the terms of the National Credit Act.

The regulator would also continue to work alongside the Sarb to ensure that the bank's lending practices were "sound and fair".

READ THIS NEXT: Abil distances itself from Sokutu comments

  • Ria Cook - 2014-08-17 10:30

    Really living up to its name, "African" bank.

      BONZI - 2014-08-17 12:06

      If I remember correctly, Iceland went bang because they lent THEIR money to other countries that could not pay them back due to the collapse of '08. I'm not sure, and can't be asked to google, but some clever economist will probably be able to confirm or contradict this below...

      Zip Reeper - 2014-08-17 12:54

      and the guptagate crook is now an ambassador. masel tof. the sarb-regulated banks lend out r10 for every r1 deposit. now THAT is criminal.

      Made-In SA - 2014-08-17 13:58

      Number One is saying the very same thing.

      Ria Cook - 2014-08-17 14:29

      Quite right, Michael, the CEO was a white man. He should be put in front of a firing squad. But all the directors went along with what the CEO did, didn't they?

      Frank Zippa - 2014-08-17 14:57

      Hi Saddick, Who told you Iceland is not in Africa? You obviously got your education during the Apartheid era.

      David Jones - 2014-08-17 21:53

      @sadick. You are talking s***t. Iceland is a landlocked country in Africa.

  • Russel Patterson - 2014-08-17 10:30

    Easy for him to say that. When he dies, which will be soon, he will be buried with the poor. Death does not choose only certain people. We could be reading about him committing suicide because of financial issues, or because of infidelity. The poor made him rich, and they will bring him down

      gerasimos - 2014-08-17 11:07

      This is what happens when peasants make a bit of loot.

      Angela Heywood - 2014-08-17 12:56

      In other words what you are saying is "what goes around comes around" am I right?

      Mike Heyns - 2014-08-17 15:34

      Saying ala anc style!!

      Wiriranai Mutizira - 2014-08-17 17:25

      I agree Russel. I urge the media to start a project on him...say a 10 year project

      Sterling Ferguson - 2014-08-18 21:30

      These loans have been unsecured just like in the US and the interest rates were five per cent per month. The bank CEOs knew these people couldn't pay back these loans, but just like in the US, they were encouraged to give these loans. If this bank had been properly monitored by the banking agency, these loans wouldn't have been made. SA had a fake boom with all of these bad loans outstanding just like in the US. Most experts are saying that China will be next because they have loaned trillion of yuans to companies in China that can be paid back.

  • Hope Field - 2014-08-17 10:32

    thanks wiseman

  • Jurgen Hartmann - 2014-08-17 10:33

    I agree. The poor can kiss my big hairy white ass!!! While I drink Moet et Changdon and eat Beluga caviar.

      Lilian K - 2014-08-17 11:17

      And still you have such bad breath

      Johnny McCloud - 2014-08-17 11:57

      But you cannot even spell Chandon...

      Jurgen Hartmann - 2014-08-17 12:03

      That's because I was drunk on Johnny Blue washed down with truffles while thinking of how next to trample and exploit as many poor blacks as possible. I can't wait.

      Warren Beard - 2014-08-17 22:47

      So you brag about drinking overpriced sparkling wine? Good on you mate!

      JC Cooper - 2014-08-18 06:26

      Aytolla, the biggest windbag on the internet with his claims of wealth. People that have it don't need to brag about it on a comment section article. Ya, everyone is rich and pretty on the internet, it's a liars paradise. He probably lives in his mothers basement.

  • simon.shee - 2014-08-17 10:37

    This guy is all class

      Roger Pacey - 2014-08-17 15:38

      Agreed. Money can't buy class.

      Margaret Cox - 2014-08-17 16:42

      But it can buy a turquoise Bentley!

      Warren Beard - 2014-08-17 22:45

      Money = Class? Never seen that in any academic journal. He is not class, he is absolutely disgraceful! He collapses a company, becomes rich at others expense! Sounds like class to me!

      Clar Duma - 2014-08-18 13:20

      Jurgen and Ayatolla - nice bunch, overflowing with them milk of human kindness.

  • Angelee Botha - 2014-08-17 10:38

    I have seen many garnishees on peoples salaries all for several loans each from Africa bank

  • Anthony Halliday - 2014-08-17 10:44

    No surprises here.

  • Nkosinathi Emanuel Mahlangu - 2014-08-17 10:48

    If this story is factual.It just show that this Sokutu dude was nothing but a black front.

      Sterling Ferguson - 2014-08-18 21:38

      You should blame the banking agency for allowing these loans to be given to these unqualified people. These loans were sold to investment banks and the CEOs have gotten their commissions out of these loans. Sokutu is just the fall guy for the poor banking system just like in the US and China.

  • Motofogo Mulilo - 2014-08-17 10:49

    Fools and Money seem to go hand in hand in this country.

  • Goeie Donner - 2014-08-17 10:49

    I'm in two minds about this. On the one hand I also say f**k the poor. They were the ones who took out the loans knowing that they couldn't afford to repay them. On the other hand, investors in this bank have now lost BIG time due the the banks reckless lending. They should have done their due diligence. We will always have the poor with us, but acts like this will weaken investment confidence in any African ventures. This is bad for us all.

  • JohnnoBfree - 2014-08-17 10:50

    No comments from the peanut gallery today! Hahaha! Typical.

  • JohnnoBfree - 2014-08-17 10:50

    No comments from the peanut gallery today! Hahaha! Typical.

  • W.L Pretorius - 2014-08-17 10:52

    LOL can not wait to get my risk management degree. what an idiot

  • Thembalethu Mdumane KaNtoyanto - 2014-08-17 10:53

    Let him enjoy those millions bt when he dies its gonna b him n a casket the money wil b left behind

      sthembize.zulu - 2014-08-17 11:13

      But Themba wait... we all die anyway. Are we going to let this guy get away with this insult?

      Chris May - 2014-08-17 19:10

      And it was an insult. No one can help the poor by focusing on poverty, but this was extreme.

  • Frans Rabalao - 2014-08-17 10:57

    I owe R14900 .

  • Akhenaten C.T. - 2014-08-17 10:59

    F**** all you rich criminals too.

      Mike Heyns - 2014-08-17 18:32

      Being rich, does not necessarily mean you are a criminal; but being poor DOES mean you did very little about it!!

  • ron.clark.75 - 2014-08-17 10:59

    The wheel will turn my friend, hope you get totally f...ked in your life

  • Chantelle Crocker Monaghan - 2014-08-17 11:00

    The poor are poor because they need education. Education would have meant they would have understood what a loan was and the implications of taking out a loan. African Bank should have turned then away. How this man can get away with saying this is infuriating because yes if he was white coloured or Indian he would be persecuted for being racist. He should be charged with hate speech and his passport taken away and his assets frozen.

      Thoko Mtetwa - 2014-08-17 11:26

      I dont agree not only poor and uneducated people who are making loans,what if u are educated u have decent job then u get retrenched after making a loan

      Thoko Mtetwa - 2014-08-17 11:27

      I dont agree not only poor and uneducated people who are making loans,what if u are educated u have decent job then u get retrenched after making a loan

      Kheta Johnson - 2014-08-17 14:50

      It could be he has the data, and probably that data shows clearly that by poor he doesn't necessarily mean black people.

  • Bob Small - 2014-08-17 11:04

    Here is a thing...! My housekeeper of 21 years earns just over R6,000-00 a month. She does not pay her accounts. She has a string of judgements in her name.....Yet they all still let her open accounts????? So they must just suck up and shut up and absorb the bad debt on their reckless lending.........Period !!!!

      Matome Lucky - 2014-08-17 11:59

      Your housekeeper is getting 6grand per month. You are paying well huh. Can I be your gardener maybe you can give me 12grand?

      Jurgen Hartmann - 2014-08-17 12:07

      I'll be your praise singer for R5000 a month. Or R200 a song....

      Jurgen Hartmann - 2014-08-17 12:12

      "For Bob's a jolly good fellow...and so say all of us"

  • Enig Ma - 2014-08-17 11:06

    I agree with some of what he says. Borrowers should take responsibilty for defaulting, and are too quick to hide behind the "reckless lending" excuse. Having said that, this bloke was not lending out his own funds, but the funds put in his care by shareholders. Arriving drunk at the Chelsea show simply sucks. What a d00$!

      Sterling Ferguson - 2014-08-18 21:11

      Warren Buffet is one of the richest men in the world and he refuses to pay his sister loan to the bank because he says the banks shouldn't have given her the loan. He claims that it's poor banking to give his sister the unsecured loan.

  • willem.ras - 2014-08-17 11:07

    It's very important to hire the right people ... Looks like senior management culture was also not aligned to what they disclosed in their financials and told the market. Poor form!

  • Tebogo Ntjaagae - 2014-08-17 11:08

    being poor is not a choice one makes over night, people lost jobs after getting that loan money. lona letla ka metlholo e le e buang. oo ena nako ya gage yatla damn you.

      Anthoula Joshua - 2014-08-17 17:40

      Amen. Only people who have never been poor can say it was a choice.

      Chris May - 2014-08-17 19:18

      Poverty consists in feeling poor. It's not a judgement, and pointing it out and reminding someone of it is clearly lacking in empathy. Many of us have had bad times, and thinking about all the time will keep us stuck in it. Therein lies the rub.

  • Frank Jordaan - 2014-08-17 11:14

    Arrogant parasite!!!!!

  • Lawrence Botlholo - 2014-08-17 11:16

    Yerr i cant believe we are poor but we have been paying his salary

  • Ame Ombre - 2014-08-17 11:21

    Power of money corrupts absolutely... When the poor were at the point of genuinely being most vulnerable, they were taken advantage of by high interest of Africa bank! There was no effective poverty alleviation through Africa bank loans! Africa bank incorporated extensive "poor" into their operations because of the potential seen by them in this niche market!

  • sthembize.zulu - 2014-08-17 11:23

    This is an insult to no less than 60% of the population

      Anthoula Joshua - 2014-08-17 17:33

      Amen. Perfectly said.

  • Celeste Mills - 2014-08-17 11:24

    Every dog gets his day. In a couple of years he'll be reckless and lose everything, then what?

      Anthoula Joshua - 2014-08-17 17:33

      Not good enough. It should be taken from him now,

  • Catherine Theron - 2014-08-17 11:26

    your downfall is going to be quick without any warning, arrogant human being.

      Anthoula Joshua - 2014-08-17 17:34

      You cannot call him a human being.

  • Tian Nel - 2014-08-17 11:27

    if this man was white he would have been called a racist

  • Allan Brits - 2014-08-17 11:28


  • Ax Wong - 2014-08-17 11:36

    This barbarian is speaking out loud the thoughts of many African leaders. Just look at the conditions many on this continent live under, while the fat cats bask in luxury.

  • Bob Wilden - 2014-08-17 11:42

    He sounds like a real nice guy. Let's hope karma catches up with him soon.

  • louis.elst - 2014-08-17 11:45

    If this ways a white CEO All hell would have broken loose

      Fanie Mthethwa - 2014-08-17 12:16

      The single issue that binds us all is risk and risk mitigation. How you run a business lending money to someone who has a high risk profile and no collateral? All large economies go through a risk assessment Standards and Poor, Moody's etc and when all is done and dusted we look the other way and do as we please. When the "yellow matter" hits the fan we blame everyone.

  • James Smythe - 2014-08-17 11:59

    Just another ANC fatpig!

  • Ike Jakson - 2014-08-17 12:04

    When brothers fight; is that what the old wise man said?

  • Johnny McCloud - 2014-08-17 12:04

    Wow, one of the elite that openly admits how he's screwing everyone over. If only all of the ANC and their cronies were as open as he is.

  • Duane Morris - 2014-08-17 12:04

    All you hear on all media platforms are loan adds so instead of saving for what you want or for when a number 2 hits the fan take a loan.. government or the ncr should step in and put a stop to it or at least not make it sound simple to get a loan.

  • Fanie Mthethwa - 2014-08-17 12:06

    It's quite possible that Mr Sokutu is being misunderstood. As Chief Risk Officer he advised ABIL about the risk of reckless and unsecured lending. His advise was most likely met with an upright middle finger from know-it-all big-wigs that took instruction direct from the Shareholder. When this happens, skin color really doesn't matter ...you sit back and watch the roller coaster until it cranks up!

      John Kahn - 2014-08-17 14:24

      I hope he did not say what the newspaper says he did. If he did, he is making a mockery of the system that enabled him to have "so much money that he never has to work again", needless to say that Warren Buffet is still hard at work.

      Herman Booysen - 2014-08-18 07:14

      Fanie, their is actually quite a few laws and regulation that makes the CEO and the Board of directors responsible King II,III etc. So a Senior officer cannot say I told you so !

      Fanie Mthethwa - 2014-08-19 07:33

      Dear Herman, You are preaching to the repented. Mr Sokutu is directing himself to the gallery of loan applicants that kept coming in droves. He has strategically avoided criticizing the Board but I read between the lines that he was probably a Dissenting director. He has opted to direct ammunition to the masses because of the principle of collective responsibility at a Board level. I am not condoning his actions but merely pointing out that a lot could be hidden behind the Board veil of secrecy.

  • Ike Jakson - 2014-08-17 12:12

    I must admit that I think this is really good fun.

  • Zahir - 2014-08-17 12:14

    That's the same thing the anc says too its voters

  • Bongeka - 2014-08-17 12:24

    If this is the attutude we get from the so called BBBEE who are entrusted with the investors' money and to make sure that the National Credit Act is correctly followed, then I rest my case. This idiot needs to be charged under financial and criminal law. He also needs to be stripped off everything he earned while working there so that he can pay all the monies he recklesly lended to people. One last thing, those debts need to be written off and paid by this bustured.

      Anthoula Joshua - 2014-08-17 17:41

      I agree. He must pay for this.

      Fanie Mthethwa - 2014-08-17 18:37

      The hard and harsh truth is that Sokutu never took an unsecured loan from ABIL but earned a salary. The real paradox here is the placing of a loaded ATM (ABIL) in a public arena and announcing to the public that whoever cracks it first owns the loot.

  • Petrus Kruger - 2014-08-17 12:28

    I like it .. I like it a lot ... Rome must fall!

      Ike Jakson - 2014-08-17 13:56

      Good Petrus, very good indeed. Down with Rome. Hoera vir die Boere!

  • danie.burger.52 - 2014-08-17 12:28

    If you deal with the top guys you will see that is the general approach. That is why we are going nowhere as the divide only gets bigger

      Ike Jakson - 2014-08-17 13:57

      Yup Danie; spyker oppiekop.

  • Matt Cumming - 2014-08-17 12:28

    Head of Risk? He sunk the company. A typical incompetant BEE cadre

      Fanie Mthethwa - 2014-08-17 18:40

      Being Head of Risk does not mean that you can conquer systemic risk!

  • Shaun O'Meara - 2014-08-17 12:29

    Tami Sokutu is a black person. Michael Temba use your brain if you have one before commenting as the person that only left a week ago couldn't fix the mess left behind.

  • Brian Rudman - 2014-08-17 12:31

    Typical, F..k the poor

  • Jason Cotton - 2014-08-17 12:35

    Business Week profile: "Mr. Thamsanqa Mthunzi Sokutu, also known as Tami, has been the Chief Operating Officer of African Bank Investments Ltd., since September 1,2002 and serves as Director of Risk, Compliance & Sustainability and Managing Director of the African Bank Retail Lending Business. Mr. Sokutu has vast experience in environmental management and environmental policy related disciplines, having been the chief director in 1995 and deputy director general in 1997 of the South African ...". He has a degree in Botany ..hmmm.

      Terry Warren - 2014-08-17 12:44

      So he's qualified to look after cabbages?

      Chris May - 2014-08-17 19:29

      How does one pay a cabbage back?

  • Shaun O'Meara - 2014-08-17 12:35

    Bee is a way of theft in a legal manner. This country has a few very good black directors but the remaining lot is no better than beggars.

  • deepchund.ramchurren - 2014-08-17 12:36

    Do those in charge of the NCR understand basic finance. The same question applies to many heading government departments. Our tax will be eventually utilized to bail out these useless "f*****s.

  • Periencd Laaitie - 2014-08-17 12:42

    That's good. Hope all those poor anc voters realize now that no1 gives a spit about them. Their brothers & sisters living lavish lives, while the voters struggle to get water out of taps. Its good let them suffer