NEWS

Paul Hoffman: Mkhwebane Does Not Have The Power To Amend The Constitution

My complaint was about government wasting money on the Ciex report, he said.

20/06/2017 11:52 SAST | Updated 20/06/2017 11:52 SAST
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Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane.

The original complaint to the public protector which prompted her recommendations on Absa and the South African Reserve Bank was actually about money wasted by government in getting the controversial Ciex report done and then not acting on its findings.

This is according to Accountability Now's Paul Hoffman, who took the complaint to the public protector's office in 2010.

Hoffman was reacting to Busisiwe Mkhwebane's report on her investigation into allegations of maladministration, corruption, the misappropriation of public funds and the failure of government to implement the Ciex report and recover funds from Absa bank.

She recommended that Parliament evoke a Constitutional amendment to the South African Reserve Bank's powers and that the Special Investigating Unit seek to recover more than R1 billion in alleged misappropriated public funds awarded to Absa in a series of apartheid-era bailouts.

"Mkhwebane is dead right to uphold the complaint that 600,000 [British] pounds was wasted on the Ciex report," Hoffman said.

"But she is dead wrong if she feels she has the power to amend the Constitution."

Hoffman said whether Absa owes South African money or not "makes for sexy headlines", but his complaint was about money wasted by the current government in paying for the Ciex report and not acting on its findings.

He said he doubts the SARB, Parliament or the courts will allow for her recommendations that changes in the Constitution be made.