Public Protector denies conspiring with Presidency, SSA

Absa has filed a supplementary affidavit in the High Court in Pretoria in relation to the CIEX report, demanding that Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane provide it with a complete record relevant to her final report.

Some of the missing evidence that is crucial to the Bankorp affair emerged during Thuli Madonsela's term as public protector when she began investigating the government's lack of implementation of the Ciex report.

This included an interview with complainant in matter‚ Michael Oatley of Ciex and a member of the South African Secret Service.

She said the "plot" would not see her lose her independence and impartiality. "It would not be lawful, reasonable or fair to recover the prescription and dictates of fairness to current Absa investors militate against any action to recover".

Absa on Thursday bolstered its efforts to have the Public Protector's controversial report ordering it to repay R1.125 billion reviewed and set aside.

"It is therefore‚ not clear on what basis Ms Mkhwebane chose to ignore Madonsela's conclusions‚" states Absa.

She denied conspiring with the Presidency and State Security Agency‚ saying her office remains independent. That objective, Ramos elaborates, is to find the SA Reserve Bank, former finance minister Pravin Gordhan, and Absa guilty of misappropriating public funds. There should therefore be convincing evidence of "misconduct, incapacity or incompetence" on the part of the Public Protector before steps are taken to remove her from office.

Mkhwebane came under fire this week after a supplementary affidavit by the SA Reserve Bank revealed that she met with representatives from both the presidency and SSA before finalising the Absa report.

"The Public Protector would like to place on record that the meeting with the Presidency did not discuss nor was the Presidency consulted with regard to the amendment of the South African Reserve Bank's mandate".

Absa has now made allegations that Mkhwebane was unfair in her investigation and that her remedial action was unreasonable, unauthorised and influenced by an error of law.

"There are several allegations orchestrated by a certain group of people with ulterior motives‚ including availing the Reserve Bank affidavit to the media even before being served on the public protector. the aim is to discredit the public protector and her independence‚" the statement said.

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