Mkhwebane orders SIU to recover over R1 billion from Absa

Busisiwe Mkhwebane found that Absa and its predecessor Bankorp unduly benefitted from a R1.125 billion bailout from the Reserve Bank.

FILE: Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Kgothatso Mogale/EWN

PRETORIA - Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has ordered the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) to recover more than R1 billion from Absa paid as a bailout in the apartheid era.

Advocate Mkhwebane released her findings on the so-called CIEX report in Pretoria on Monday.

She found that the bank and its predecessor Bankorp unduly benefitted from a R1.125 billion bailout from the Reserve Bank.

The Public Protector says the government failed to act on the CIEX report.

“Dealing with alleged stolen state funds after commissioning and paying the same, whether the South African government failed to improperly implement the report is substantiated.”

She has referred the matter to the special investigation unit to recover an amount of R1.1 billion.

“The South Africa Reserve Bank must cooperate fully with the SIU and also assist the SIU in the recovery of the misappropriated public funds.”

Mkhwebane found that the government’s failure to recover the funds has prejudiced the public.

She has found that the public was prejudiced by government’s failure to recover money unlawfully paid to Absa and Bankorp.

The Public Protector says the funds given to Bankorp belonged to the people of South Africa.

She says the conduct was contrary to the Constitution.

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)