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Mkhwebane: I Learnt Valuable Lessons In Absa Case

The chickens, it seems, have come home to roost.

06/10/2017 11:47 SAST | Updated 06/10/2017 11:47 SAST
Deaan Vivier/ Foto24/ Gallo Images via Getty Images
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane during a media briefing to mark 100 days in office on February 2 2017 in Pretoria, South Africa.

Public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has said she will be ensuring all investigative reports are checked by her office's legal team before being made public, after widespread criticism over her recent handling of the Absa-Bankorp case, according to EWN.

Mkhwebane told Parliament's Justice Portfolio Committee on Thursday that the remedial action she suggested after her probe into the apartheid-era bailout of Bankorp was more a "recommendation" than an "order" to Parliament.

"The intention was to recommend that this needs to be looked into," she said, adding that she had learnt some valuable lessons in this process.

For one, she said, "it's making sure that all the reports are checked by our legal team".

Mkhwebane told HuffPost SA her remedial action -- recommending that Absa repay R1.1 billion and the Constitution be reworded to change the South African Reserve Bank's mandate -- does not "in any way" amend the Constitution or violate the parliamentary process of approving or rejecting the bill.

The central bank in court papers then accused Mkhwebane of bias and being part of a campaign to undermine its independence, after documents showed the anti-graft ombudsman held a secret meeting with Zuma's lawyers before proposing changes to its mandate. It's another in a series of wrangles that could keep the institution in the public eye for something other than monetary policy this year.

Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba recently slammed the investigation, saying Mkhwebane "simply failed to conduct a diligent investigation in compliance with her statutory and constitutional mandate".