Grandfather takes on African Bank

Thuli Zungu Consumer Line
Image: Sowetan

Sixty-three-year-old Johannes Masemola applied for a personal loan at African Bank to refurbish his retirement home at GaMasemola village in Limpopo.

Masemola was granted a loan of R18,000 and a R7,000 credit card facility.

"Though they said their personal loan was affordable, it has not improved my life because I've paid almost R200,000 since 2014," he said.

He claimed to have paid R70,584 into the credit card.

He said African Bank told him that he took a second loan he knew nothing about.

"They have not shown me where it was deposited and the signature they showed me is not mine," he said.

The statement Consumer Line has seen shows that Masemola was granted a loan of R65,000, which had a total interest of R55,474.

The total cost for his loan is R140,474, but Masemola insisted that he only received a personal loan of R18,000.

His credit card account statement shows that he was granted a limit of R53,000 but Masemola said he was actually given R7,000 to use.

"I used only that, but have paid R70,000 on this credit card and I think something is not right here."

Masemola receives a government pension and claims he can't afford to repay R3,938 per month.

"This loan is causing me sleepless nights and I think the stress associated with it will ultimately kill me," said the grandfather of two.

His plea is that African Bank should reconcile its books against what it actually gave him and refund all the money he has overpaid.

"I want to enjoy my retirement and my wish is to go to Sun City," said Masemola.

Rene Botha of the Ombuds and Regulatory Disputes at African Bank said according to the bank's records, Masemola entered into a settlement re-advance loan in January 2015.

"This means that at the time Masemola entered into this agreement, he had an active African Bank loan, which would be settled using this new loan," Botha said.

She said the loan was granted with a capital amount of R65,000, payable in 48 monthly installments of R2,933.38 and was expected to repay R140,802.

Botha said Masemola defaulted eight months later and to date he has managed to repay R69,805.46 and has a balance of R73,895.98 outstanding on his loan.

The confusion regarding the loan agreement may have arisen due to the fact that the loan was taken a few years ago and Masemola may only remember the amount that was paid directly into his bank account, Botha said.

"The unsigned contract he refers to is a customer copy. African Bank is in possession of the signed and legally binding contract," Botha said.