NEWS

Public Protector: Absa Must Pay Back The Money

Mkhwebane wants the SIU to recover R1.125 billion from Absa.

19/06/2017 14:00 SAST | Updated 19/06/2017 17:46 SAST

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane wants government to recover more than R1 billion in alleged misappropriated public funds awarded to Absa in a series of apartheid-era bailouts.

In a press briefing on Monday, Mkhwebane said government and the South African Reserve Bank failed to act on the findings of the Ciex report.

Ciex, a UK company which was paid 600,000 pounds to investigate apartheid-era looting, alleged the reserve bank illegally handed R24 billion to Bankorp (now part of Absa) between 1985 and 1992 and a further R2,2 billion to Absa in bailouts between for three years from 1992.

But Mkhwebane announced the figure for the bailouts in closer to R1,125 billion -- and that is how much she wants the financial institution to pay back.

She has referred the matter to the Special Investigating Unit (SIU).

Mkhwebane said her office found no evidence that government acted after the Ceix report was released.

She said this failure constitutes "improper conduct and maladministration" and wants the SIU to recover the "misappropriated" public funds unlawfully given to Absa and investigate other institutions mentioned in the Ciex report.

Absa said the findings were flawed. Here is its full response.