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ABSA to approach high court to have Public Protector’s report set aside

Jun 21 2017 07:30
Matthew le Cordeur

Cape Town – ABSA and its main shareholder Barclays Africa have decided to approach the high court in order to have the Public Protector’s report into Bankorp reviewed and set aside, it said on Wednesday.

The South African Reserve Bank announced it would also seek to have the report reviewed on Tuesday.

The SARB said Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s remedial action seeking Parliament to change the Constitution regarding the bank's mandate to protect the value of the rand “falls outside her powers and is unlawful”.

“The Reserve Bank has been advised to bring urgent review proceedings to have the remedial action set aside,” the SARB said in a statement on Tuesday. “The Reserve Bank has resolved to do so. 

The Public Protector released a final report on Monday regarding her investigation into the assistance provided by the SARB to Bankorp between 1985 and 1995. Bankorp was acquired by ABSA in 1992.

ABSA said it is approaching the court “due to numerous misrepresentations and factual inaccuracies which form the basis of the Public Protector's findings, and what we submit are the irrational and unreasonable legal conclusions in the report. The misconceptions and inaccuracies in the report are profound and damaging to ABSA’s reputation.

“We have accordingly instructed our lawyers to immediately prepare an application to the High Court to have the report and its remedial actions set aside.

“We deny that ABSA received R1.125bn by way of unlawful assistance and we firmly maintain our position that all of ABSA’s obligations to the South African Reserve Bank were met in full by October 1995,” said ABSA.

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