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‘Mkhwebane required to act impartially but she failed’

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

FILE; Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane during a press briefing. Picture: EWN.

PRETORIA - The South African Reserve Bank has asked the High Court to declare that Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane has abused her office and breach the Constitution for the impartial and biased manner in which she conducted investigation into the apartheid era Bankorp bailout.

Absa, the Reserve Bank and Treasury have challenged Mkhwebane’s report into the apartheid era bailout, claiming it was procedurally unfair and rested on material errors of fact and law.

The Public Protector instructed the Special Investigating Unit to recover more than R1 billion from Absa.

Advocate Katie Hofmeyr referred the court to a hand-written note by Mkhwebane which indicates she discussed the vulnerability of the Reserve Bank with the State Security Agency.

“There’s no credible basis on which that was a proper subject matter for any engagement between the Public Protector and the State Security Agency.”

She says Mkhwebane has breached the Constitution.

“The Public Protector is required under Section 181 of the Constitution to act impartially and independently; she has failed to do that in this investigation.”

The matter continues today.

'BLATANT PLAGIARISM'

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

Absa Advocate Gilbert 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.