Ramaphosa slams suggestions to amend Constitutional mandate of Sarb

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkwebane recommended that Absa repay over R1 billion used to bail out the Bankcorp Group during the apartheid era.

FILE: Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG – Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has slammed suggestions to amend the Constitutional mandate of institutions such as the Reserve Bank.

Ramaphosa addressed the South African Communist Party (SACP)’s fundraiser dinner in Johannesburg on Friday night

The SACP’s Solly Mapaile commended Ramaphosa for his role in the liberation movement and also in drafting the Constitution.

Ramaphosa says the Constitution must not be tampered with.

Earlier this week, Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane recommended that Absa repays over R1 billion used to bail out the Bankcorp Group during the apartheid era.

She has received criticism for her recommendation on changes to reserve bank mandate which she claims failed in their role in recovering the money.

However, Ramaphosa says the Constitution must not be tampered with.

“We must with some concern when there are suggestions that amend the Constitution to achieve this and that end, and particularly when they’re made without proper discussion and full consultation.”

Ramaphosa says institutions such as the Reserve Bank play an important in the stability of the economy.

MKHWEBANE'S PRONOUNCEMENTS ON SARB IRRESPONSIBLE

The African National Congress (ANC) Member of Parliament (MP) Makhosi Khoza, said Mkhwebane’s findings on the Reserve Bank are bizarre and that there was no interference from President Jacob Zuma or anyone else in their selection process.

On Thursday night, Parliament announced it's going to court to challenge Mkhwebane’s findings that the Reserve Bank's monetary policy mandate must change and that Absa must pay government over R1 billion because of an apartheid-era bailout.

Both Absa and the Reserve Bank have already said they’re also going to court.

Khoza chaired Parliament’s ad hoc committee that selected Mkhwebane to the Public Protector position.

She said the president played no role in this selection

“There was definitely no interference at that level; as you know, it was widely reported in the media that the person we all wanted was Judge [Siraj] Desai.”

She said that Mkhwebane's findings are literally bizarre.

“I really believe in the independence of the Reserve Bank and I think it was very irresponsible of her to make those kinds of pronouncements. When we’ve entered an economic technical recession, she makes pronouncements that may result in thousands of jobs. It’s really bizarre actually.”

The ANC MP said Mkhwebane’s findings that the monetary policy mandate of the Reserve Bank must change are irresponsible and could result in thousands of people losing their jobs.

Khosa said she can't believe that Mkhwebane made the findings that she did.

But she said the process she led can't be held responsible because it was completely transparent.

“It’s very difficult to know how a person would behave or to know who will influence this person going forward. We are not sangomas [traditional healers], we can’t predict that.”

Khoza added Mkhwebane was actually first nominated to the post by the Inkatha Freedom Party.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)