Mantashe: Mkhwebane overreaching her powers with Reserve Bank plan

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

FILE: ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe. Picture: Kgothatso Mogale/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – African National Congress (ANC) Secretary General Gwede Mantashe has told Eyewitness News the Public Protector has overreached her power by pronouncing that she wants to change the Reserve Bank’s monetary policy.

On Monday, Advocate Busiswe Mkhwebane said the Reserve Bank had failed in its duties to protect the public by not ensuring that Absa Bank repaid an apartheid-era bailout given to failed bank Bankorp.

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

Mantashe says the Reserve Bank was right to take the Public Protector’s decision on review.

“On the powers of the Reserve Bank and the Constitution, I think that’s Public Protector overreach. The Reserve Bank is right in reviewing it because that’s the only way you can challenge this, you can review properly.”

Mantashe says the Reserve Bank’s credibility is still intact and should not be tampered with.

“The Reserve Bank is doing its work. The mistake we can commit in South Africa, which is popular, is to play around with the institution that gives us credibility and we lose that credibility immediately, we’ll battle economically.”

Mkhwebane has defended her decision.

“It says the Chairperson of the portfolio committee on Justice and Correctional Services must initiate that will result in the amendment of Section 224; initiate the process.

“This is still a process and I’m not saying these are the proposals, they can deliberate on that and decide if they are amending or not.”

Mkhwebane says it's up to the courts to decide if she's overreached her mandate by recommending that the Reserve Bank should change its mandate on monetary policy.

Mkhwebane says she's noted the bank's decision to challenge her recommendation.

“The court is there to interpret the law. I have seen the Reserve Bank intends to take this matter on judicial review. I think it’s within their right to do that. It’s for the court to decide whether I’ve reached my mandate.”