27/09/2017 18:08 SAST | Updated 27/09/2017 18:15 SAST

Malusi Gigaba Slams Busisiwe Mkhwebane: 'She Has Simply Failed'

The minister of finance has delivered a damning indictment of the Public Protector in court papers.

Mike Hutchings / Reuters
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane listens during a briefing at Parliament in Cape Town, South Africa October 19, 2016.

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.

Pieter du Toit

These documents included crucial transcripts of interviews without which Mkhwebane could not have come to the conclusions she did.

Pieter du Toit

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.

Pieter du Toit

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.

Pieter du Toit
Pieter du Toit

Figures of R3.8-billion and R6-billion were calculated as being recoverable. Nothing backs these numbers up, though.

Pieter du Toit