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Public Protector: I didn't discuss Sarb mandate with Presidency

The Reserve Bank on Wednesday accused Busisiwe Mkhwebane of colluding with the Presidency and the State Security Agency to attack the central bank.

Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane says during the meeting with the Presidency she did not discuss the amendment of the South African Reserve Bank's mandate.

On Tuesday the Reserve Bank accused Mkhwebane of colluding with the Presidency and the State Security Agency to attack the central bank.

Records show Mkhwebane failed to disclose a meeting with President Jacob Zuma's advisors in her final report and discussed the Reserve Bank’s vulnerabilities with the State Security Agency.

In a statement released on Thursday, the Public Protector says that while she did meet with the Presidency on 7 June, it did not relate to the proposed amendment of South African Reserve Bank’s mandate.

"The Public Protector indeed met with the Presidency on 7 June 2017 because the Presidency, in response to a section 7(9) notice or a provisional report that had been issued, requested a meeting to give an explanation to their response. The Public Protector would like to place on record that the meeting with the Presidency did not discuss nor was the Presidency consulted with regard to the amendment of the South African Reserve Bank’s mandate.

"It was also reported in different media platforms and social media that the Public Protector met with the State Security Agency. The public will recall that CIEX concluded an agreement with the then South African Secret Services (SASS), which is now called the State Security Agency (SSA). Therefore, the purpose of the meeting with SSA was a follow-up meeting after the former Public Protector interviewed the former head of SASS, to enquire about the aforesaid contract and the management process of that contract by SSA.

"Therefore, the rumours or reports published in different media platforms and social media are incorrect and the Public Protector rejects those reports or rumours with the contempt they deserves [sic].

"The Public Protector would like to assure the public that the meeting between the Presidency and the SSA was part of the Public Protector’s constitutional mandate to conduct an investigation. Therefore, as part of her investigation, the Public Protector is required to meet any person who may assist her in her investigation.

"The allegations by the South African Reserve Bank that the Public Protector did not provide it with an opportunity to comment on the provisional report are also rejected with contempt they deserve and same will be dealt with in detail in the Public Protector’s answering affidavit which is due to be filed in court on 23 October 2017.

"Lastly, there are several allegations orchestrated by a certain group of people with ulterior motives, including availing the SARB affidavit to the media even before being served on the Public Protector. Their aim is to discredit the reputation of the Public Protector and her independence.

"Despite the above-mentioned plot, the Public Protector shall remain independent, impartial and will continue to exercise her powers and perform her functions without fear, favour or prejudice."

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