Sarah Smit | Mail & Guardian | 5 November 2019 |
An “angry, distrustful and even vengeful woman”. This is how whistleblower Rosemary Hunter was described in an affidavit to the high court by her one-time boss, erstwhile Financial Services Board (FSB) chief executive Dube Tshidi.
The former deputy registrar of pensions can laugh it off now, recalling how her daughter wanted to make T-shirts declaring “I am with the vengeful woman”.
But even after all this time, the dig still stings.
Hunter is tall even when she is sitting down. She calls herself “ungainly”.
But seated in the Sandton offices of business law firm Fasken, where she now works, you wouldn’t believe her. Her look, she suggests, was co-ordinated by her daughter.
In 2016, Hunter took the FSB to court over the likely unlawfulness of the board’s “cancellation project”, which, between 2007 and 2013, saw the deregistration of almost 7 000 dormant pension funds. She accused the FSB, now the Financial Sector Conduct Authority, of failing to exercise proper oversight in the process.
The funds were cancelled despite the fact that some of them still held assets and people were owed payments from them.
After years of costly litigation to compel the FSB to investigate all the funds that were deregistered, Hunter lost her final attempt, in the Constitutional Court, last year.