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Rothschilds accused of preying on South Africa's state-owned enterprises

South African unions have joined forces to take on the Rothschild family, which they have accused of being involved in attempts to ‘capture’ the country’s State Owned Enterprises (SOEs).

According to the Citizen tabloid, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa and the South African Cabin Crew Association released a joint statement, claiming that the Rothschilds were “interfering” in SOEs for “selfish and greedy purposes.” The statement alleged that the wealthy family intended to collapse South African Airways (SAA) so it could be privatized.

The Rothschild family is the most famous of all European banking dynasties; for some 200 years, it has had great influence on the economic and, indirectly, the political history of Europe. It also holds stakes in many businesses internationally.

The South African unions said that the Rothschilds were using an alleged link to SAA board member Mark Kingston, who is also the executive chair of Rothschild & Co. in South Africa and was previously its CEO. The unions want the removal of various SAA board members, including Kingston, as well as another board member who actually carries the Rothschild name – former Johannesburg Stock Exchange chairperson Geoff Rothschild.

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The unions have called the Rothschilds the new Guptas – linking the controversial South African family accused of various corrupt acts. The Gupta family has been the focus of widespread scrutiny because of its close ties to former president Jacob Zuma.

South Africa’s Finance Minister Tito Mboweni has been also accused of acting recklessly, when he previously expressed a lack of faith in the airline’s future.

The unions held a protest last week calling for the reinstatement of South African Airways former CEO Vuyani Jarana, whose ‘turnaround strategy’ they want to be implemented.

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Jarana, who was appointed chief executive of South Africa’s embattled national carrier in August 2017, has assured that SAA would not be privatized. He had proposed a plan to make the airline financially self-sustainable by 2021. The CEO resigned early this month due to uncertainty about the airline’s government funding.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section