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Judgment reserved in review of Mkhwebane's Bankorp report

Absa, the Reserve Bank and Treasury have challenged Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s controversial report on the grounds that it was procedurally unfair and irrational.

FILE: Public Protector Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Picture: Gia Nicolaides/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The High Court has reserved judgment in the review of the Public Protector’s investigation of the apartheid-era Bankorp bailout, but has committed to delivering its ruling early next year.

Absa, SA Reserve Bank and Treasury have challenged Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s controversial report on the grounds that it was procedurally unfair and irrational.

Mkhwebane requested the Special Investigating Unit recover more than a billion rand from Absa, which she found was an undue benefit.

While it appears almost certain Mkhwebane’s report and its findings will be set aside, a victory for her would be if the court decides against declaring that she abused her office and breached the Constitution.

The Reserve Bank has re-iterated that Mkhwebane was not independent nor was she impartial, qualities expected of her high office.

Mkhwebane’s advocate, Paul Kennedy, argued that even if the court finds his client had acted unfairly, then the report stands to be set aside, but this does not amount to an abuse of office.

He has stressed that the advocate at all times acted in good faith and accused the central bank of trying to lay the groundwork to have the Public Protector removed from office.

Judge Cynthia Pretoria told the parties that the bench hopes to deliver judgment by the end of January or early in February 2018.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)

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