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Mkhwebane’s office unfazed by withdrawal of its attorneys from Absa report case

'Eyewitness News' revealed on Sunday that Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s attorneys had withdrawn from the case.

FILE: Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG – The office of the Public Protector says it is confident the withdrawal of its attorneys from the matter relating to the report into Absa’s apartheid-era bailout will have no impact on the case.

Eyewitness News revealed on Sunday that Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s attorneys had withdrawn from the case.

Mkhwebane released the report in June which included the remedial action that the special investigating unit should recover more than R1 billion from Absa.

Last week, Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba hit out at Mkhwebane over the report, saying she had failed to conduct a diligent investigation as required by the law and the Constitution.

The review application is set down for three days in December.

The Public Protector’s spokesperson Cleo Mosana says it remains unclear why their attorneys withdrew from the case.

But Mosana says they can confirm new attorneys have been appointed.

“In our opinion because of the work that we have done so far, this will have no bearing or negative impact on the matter.”

She says they remain focused on the case.

“One of the things that the Public Protector is doing, she wanted to make sure that she beefs up her defence team.”

At the same time, Gigaba has hit out against Mkhwebane saying her conclusions in her report are so lacking in logic that it’s clear the matter was not properly investigated.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)