NEWS
16/02/2018 11:48 SAST | Updated 16/02/2018 11:48 SAST

Public Protector's ABSA Report Struck Down By Court

Busisiwe Mkhwebane's Bankorp-CIEX report, in which ABSA was ordered to pay R1,125-billion, was set aside by the Pretoria High Court on Friday.

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Public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane during an interview in 2016.

The court has dealt a fatal blow to public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane's report on the Bankorp-lifeboat investigation.

Fin24 reported that the Pretoria High Court on Friday set aside Mkhwebane's Bankorp-CIEX report.

Mkhwebane wanted government to recover more than R1-billion in alleged misappropriated public funds awarded to Absa in a series of apartheid-era bailouts. She said government and the South African Reserve Bank failed to act on the findings of the CIEX report.

CIEX, a U.K. company that was paid £600,000 [~R9.82-million] to investigate apartheid-era looting, alleged that the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) illegally handed R24-billion to Bankorp (now part of Absa) between 1985 and 1992 and a further R2.2-billion to Absa in bailouts for three years from 1992.

Mkhwebane also wanted the South African Constitution to be amended. She recommended that section 224.1 of Constitution be changed from: "The primary object of the South African Reserve Bank is to protect the value of the currency in the interest of balanced and sustainable economic growth in the republic" to: "The primary object of the SARB is to promote balanced and sustainable economic growth in the republic, while ensuring that the socioeconomic wellbeing of the citizens are [sic] protected."

Fin24 reported that during the court proceedings, Gilbert Marcus SC for Absa argued that Mkhwebane failed to adhere to procedural fairness. The court also awarded costs to Absa.

Mkhwebane's spokesperson Cleopatra Mosana could not be reached for comment.