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Lawyer: Mkhwebane's language in Bankorp report was problematic

Advocate Paul Kennedy rejected Absa’s argument that Mkhwebane instructed the SIU on what to do, which is impermissible.

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane releases the report on investigations into financial corruption and planning for Nelson Mandela's funeral on 4 December 2017. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

PRETORIA - Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s legal team has conceded that some of the language used in her remedial action was ambiguous and problematic.

This was heard in the High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday, where Absa, the South African Reserve Bank (Sarb) and National Treasury are challenging Mkhwebane’s investigation report into the apartheid-era Bankorp bailout.

Mkhwebane instructed the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) to recover more than a billion rand from Absa.

Advocate Paul Kennedy rejected Absa’s argument that Mkhwebane instructed the SIU on what to do, which is impermissible.

But the bench pointed out that her remedial action says the SIU must recover the funds.

"The wording of the which I accept is problematic and unclear and we would submit is ambiguous and that one should not necessarily adopt the interpretation that is being suggested to be prima facie from the bench."

Kennedy explains what she actually meant.

"All that she is saying, and all that she could have said in the circumstances, is that their should be remedial action by referring the matter to the SIU."

The advocate rejected claims that his client did not act in good faith.

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