Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba has slammed Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane's investigation into the so-called Bankorp/Absa lifeboat deal and says she "simply failed to conduct a diligent investigation in compliance with her statutory and constitutional mandate".
In an affidavit lodged in the North Gauteng High Court, Gigaba sets out additional reasons why her controversial report into the deal should be set aside. Mkhwebane found that Absa owed the state billions of rands, that government did not implement recommendations by the CIEX Report and the mandate of the SA Reserve Bank (SARB) had to change. The report is being challenged by government, Absa and SARB.
Gigaba labels the report as "generalised, random and hasty" and asks the court to set it aside on the grounds that she failed to provide all the relevant documents and records to the parties affected. "The Public Protector appears to have made haphazard conclusions of law and fact, relying on random, unsubstantiated and selected documents place before her. She has not conducted a proper investigation as required by section 7 of the Public Protector Act, no. 23 of 1994," Gigaba says in the affidavit.
Gigaba says the Public Protector filed to provide him with the relevant documents, despite numerous requests.
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These documents included crucial transcripts of interviews without which Mkhwebane could not have come to the conclusions she did.
There is no mention of the three CIEX Reports in the final report by the Public Protector, yet it forms the basis of the final CIEX Report.
Mkhwebane believes that government could have recovered the monies from Absa as per the final CIEX Report and that there was no systemic risk for the banking sector. According to Gigaba, this was not the case.
Figures of R3.8-billion and R6-billion were calculated as being recoverable. Nothing backs these numbers up, though.