South Africa watchdog to oppose Zuma plan to block influence-peddling report

Absa must pay back R1.125 billion for irregular apartheid-era gifts Public Protector
South Africa watchdog to oppose Zuma plan to block influence-peddling report
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20 June, 2017

Mkhwebane gave very little away when she announced she would hold a media briefing at her office on Monday morning "to release formal investigation reports".

For remedial action, Mkhwebane has referred the matter to the Special Investigating Unit, which must in turn approach President Jacob Zuma to reopen the presidential proclamation R47 of 1998 "in order to recover the misappropriated public funds unlawfully given to ABSA Bank in the amount of R1.125 billion".

"The allegation whether the South African government improperly failed to implement the CIEX report ... after commissioning and duly paying for same is substantiated".

Zuma filed the application to review and set aside the report in the High Court in Pretoria past year.

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Mkhwebane said her investigation had found that the apartheid government breached the constitution by supplying Bankorp, which was acquired by Absa in 1992, with a series of bailouts from 1985 to 1995.

Absa received R1.25-billion from the apartheid government.

The Sunday Times reported that she had sat on at least four separate investigative reports involving the Gupta family since she took up office eight months ago. Mkhwebane said Absa has paid some of the money back, but not the two decades' worth of interest that has accumulated.

PRETORIA, June 19 South Africa's rand fell more than 1.5 percent on Monday after the Public Protector, an anti-graft watchdog, recommended constitutional changes to make the central bank promote economic growth rather than currency and price stability. Another amendment to be included will add that the Reserve Bank will pursue this objective "without fear, favour or prejudice" and that there must be regular engagements between the bank and Parliament. The request was made through the South African Secret Service.


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