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Absa files to join SARB case against Public Protector

Mkhwebane released a report in Pretoria weeks ago, where she ordered the special investigating unit to recover more than a billion rand from Absa.

FILE: Head of Absa and Barclays Africa CEO Maria Ramos. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – Absa Bank has filed court papers to be joined as a co-applicant in the Reserve Bank’s application to review and set aside the Public Protector’s remedial action in the report on the apartheid era Bankorp bailout.

Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane released the report in Pretoria earlier this month, where she ordered the special investigating unit to recover more than a billion rand from Absa.

She also ordered Parliament to amend the section of the Constitution which prescribes the reserve bank’s mandate.

Absa chief executive Maria Ramos says in an affidavit that the bank supports the relief sought by the Reserve Bank and the argument advanced by Governor Lesetja Kganyago.

Ramos says the Public Protector’s remedial action which directs an amendment of the Constitution is unlawful and unconstitutional because Parliament’s discretion cannot be fettered.

She says that the remedial action effectively removes MPs' rights and obligations to exercise an independent discretion in relation to voting on proposed legislation.

Ramos adds that the Public Protector was materially influenced by an error of law or took action for an ulterior purpose or motive.

While Absa supports the Reserve Bank in this application, it will also launch one on its own to challenge other aspects of the CIEX report.