Public Protector: Govt acted improperly over report into Absa Bankorp matter

The Public Protector has found that government acted improperly by failing to act on the CIEX report.

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Picture: Kgothatso Mogale/EWN

PRETORIA - The Public Protector has found that Absa bank and its predecessor Bankorp unduly benefited from a Reserve Bank bail-out to the value of R1.125 billion and has ordered the Special Investigating Unit to recover the funds.

Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane made the announcement at a briefing in Pretoria on Monday where she revealed her findings in the so-called CIEX investigation.

The matter relates to funds misappropriated during the apartheid era and given as a lifeboat to Bankorp, which was later purchased by Absa bank.

Mkhwebane found the government failed to recover the funds.

"Whether the SA government and the SA reserve bank improperly failed to recover Absa/Bankorp an amount R3.2 billion cited in the CIEX report, the allegation is substantiated. The correct amount of the illegal gift granted to Bankorp or Absa is in an amount of R1.2 billion."

Mkhwebane says the matter is being referred to the Special Investigating Unit.

"The South African Reserve Bank must cooperate fully with Special Investigating Unit and also assist the Special Investigation Unit in the recovery of the misappropriated funds."

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

The Public Protector made two big announcements at the briefing, also saying she will oppose President Zuma's bid to have the state of capture report.