NEWS

Mkhwebane Asks Court For Another Postponement In Bankorp Review Matter

The public protector wants the case heard in March next year.

15/11/2017 07:19 SAST | Updated 15/11/2017 07:19 SAST
Mike Hutchings / Reuters
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane

Public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has asked the High Court in Pretoria to postpone the hearing into the Bankorp bailout until 2018, Business Day reported on Wednesday.

Mkhwebane reportedly missed a deadline to provide the court with an affidavit stating why her report should not be reviewed and set aside. Mkhwebane asked the court for an extension for this deadline.

Absa and the Reserve Bank want Mkhwebane's report set aside. The report recommended that the Constitution be amended to change the Bank's mandate, after finding that Absa should pay back R1 billion in loans its predecessor received unlawfully from the apartheid government.

In September, it was revealed that Mkhwebane had consulted the State Security Agency and the Presidency before releasing her report. Neither party was a respondent in the matter.

Absa also claimed that Mkhwebane did not assess critical evidence before releasing her report.

According to Eyewitness News (EWN), Mkhwebane already received an extension on the first deadline, October 16, when she was due to submit an answering affidavit defending her report.

Mkhwebane has reportedly asked the court for permission to file her affidavit by January and for the hearings to occur in March. Her previous legal team reportedly resigned two weeks before the first deadline, and Mkhwebane said they were unable to work through the 7000-page court record before the deadline.

Business Day reported that the Reserve Bank is opposed to Mkhwebane's request for a postponement saying it had already tried to be accommodating when Mkhebane had to change legal teams. Mkhwebane had also not given reasons why she needed to postpone the filing of her affidavit until January, the Reserve Bank's legal team reportedly said.

They also complained that Mkhwebane did not tell the court what work had been done by her present and former legal teams since the review application was launched.

The Reserve Bank complained that Mkhwebane did not ask for an extension immediately when her legal team resigned, and said it was essential that the matter be heard before the year's end to quell uncertainty in the markets.