The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) has hit back at Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane in an explosive affidavit, revealing that she met with both the presidency and the State Security Agency (SSA). According to tweets by EWN's Barry Bateman and eNCA's Karyn Maughan she discussed the SARB's mandate with presidential advisers and how the SARB might be "vulnerable".
#ReserveBank Mkhwebane met with the Presidency advisors 12 days before final report released. Constitutional changes were discussed. BB— Barry Bateman (@barrybateman) September 12, 2017
She met with both the presidency and the SSA in the course of finalising her investigation into the CIEX Report into apartheid-era looting. It's quite remarkable that she would meet with the presidency to discuss the SARB's future mandate without the SARB's input. In her report she said the mandate must change, but this was struck down by the court later.
#ReserveBank Not even SARB was privy to proposed Constitutional changes, but they were discussed with the Presidency. No right of reply. BB— Barry Bateman (@barrybateman) September 12, 2017
But what's even more disturbing is notes from the public protector's office itself from the meeting with the SSA where the question about the SARB's "vulnerability" was discussed.
This, the SARB argues, shows clearly that the institution was under attack.
The meeting and the gist of the discussions calls into question Mkhwebane's imparitality, the SARB believes.
Lesetja Kganyago, the governor of the SARB, has been at pains the last couple of months to explain the institution's role and to defend it's independence. Many fear that the SARB is the next target of the so-called rent-seekers and the state capture network after Pravin Gordhan was removed as minister of finance in March by President Jacob Zuma. Kganyago is demanding answers:
Reverse Bank demands @PublicProtector provide a transcript of meeting with Presidency over Bank mandate - or explain why it wasn't recorded— Karyn Maughan (@karynmaughan) September 12, 2017
This is a developing story.