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Bankorp report: Mkhwebane accused of bias

Absa Advocate Gilbert Marcus says Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane denied his client permission to inspect key documents her Bankorp investigation.

FILE: Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

PRETORIA - Absa has argued that the Public Protector’s conduct in her Bankorp investigation was unfair and she displayed a complete failure to appreciate the principle of procedural fairness.

The bank, Reserve Bank and Treasury have taken Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s report on review in the High Court in Pretoria.

Mkhwebane ordered that the Special Investigating Unit recover more than a billion rand from Absa for an unlawful apartheid era-bailout.

Absa Advocate Gilbert Marcus says Mkhwebane denied his client permission to inspect key documents, saying they will be revealed in the final report.

“To turn procedural fairness on its head. What she’s telling Absa is 'I’m not going to give you the documents, but don’t worry you will see everything in the final report'… when it’s too late. When Absa cannot any longer make representations because the horse would’ve bolted.”

Marcus has accused Mkhwebane of bias.

'BLATANT PLAGIARISM'

Absa has accused Mkhwebane of blatant plagiarism when advancing new reasons to support her findings.

Marcus says Mkhwebane provided entirely new reasons to support the finds of her report when she submitted her answering affidavit.

Marcus submitted a document which revealed an entire section of argument were lifted directly from a report by economist Tshepo Mokoka.

“If this were a first-year university student they would be disciplined for plagiarism. She has created the grossly misleading impression that in those paragraphs, those are her findings.”

The advocate says the court should severely censure Mkhwebane for the misleading submissions.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)