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Public Protector: Remedial action must be implemented, despite ABSA's court bid

Jul 14 2017 18:50

Johannesburg – ABSA’s application to have a judicial review on the Public Protector’s Bankorp report won’t suspend Busisiwe Mkhwebane's remedial action, according to her office.

Spokesperson Cleopatra Mosana, in a statement issued on Friday afternoon, said that Mkhwebane is studying the application by ABSA to have a judicial review on her ruling. She will make a decision about which action to take afterwards.

Mkhwebane welcomed ABSA’s application. “This application provides an opportunity for debate on the allegations of maladministration, corruption, misappropriation of funds and failure by the South African government to implement the CIEX report and recover public funds.”

However, Mosana said the Public Protector’s remedial actions are binding, and must be implemented unless it is set aside by a court.

READ: Absa challenges Public Protector’s report

On Thursday ABSA filed an affidavit to challenge the Public Protector’s order to have the bank pay back R1.125bn that was granted by the SA Reserve Bank (SARB) to Bankorp, which was later bought by ABSA, during apartheid.

ABSA has reiterated time and again that the money was paid back. ABSA is challenging the report on the grounds that the remedial action is based on material errors of fact, the Public Protector’s process was procedurally flawed and unfair to ABSA, the alleged debt is not recoverable and the Public Protector does not have jurisdiction to investigate the matter.

ALSO READ: ABSA's 5 key arguments on Public Protector report

The SARB is also challenging the Public Protector’s remedial action to have the constitutional mandate of the bank changed.

Parliament, National Treasury and ABSA have filed supporting affidavits.

The SARB said this remedial action is unlawful and does not fall within Mkhwebane’s powers. 

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