Implicated Absa has weighed in on the Public Protector’s leaked report on an apartheid-era bail-out for Bankorp. It said the report created a wrong impression.
The big four bank, Absa, was baffled by the Public Protector’s leaked report that said it may be forced to pay R2.25bn if the “provisional report” by Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane remained unchanged.
According to the report, government‚ through the South African Secret Service represented at the time by Billy Masetlha‚ contracted Ciex to investigate large-scale looting of the state under the apartheid government.
Masetlha was a former head of the National Intelligence Agency before he was fired by then president Thabo Mbeki in 2006‚ while‚ according to Mail & Guardian‚ Ciex is a “covert UK asset recovery agency”.
Ciex probed how “R1.5bn was offered to the Bankorp group of banks as a distressed bank ‘lifeboat”‚ the paper reported.
Reacting to this, Absa said on Friday that the Public Protector’s leaked report had some legal inaccuracies and that it would make “further submissions … to correct them.
The bank also said it’s regrettable that the Public Protector’s Report has been leaked before further submissions and finalization because the report creates “an incorrect view that Absa Bank Ltd was the beneficiary of undue assistance”.
“We have written to the public protector informing her that we accept her invitation to make further submissions in terms of the Public Protector Act. These submissions will correct several factual and legal inaccuracies that are contained in the provisional report‚” spokesperson Phumza Macanda said on Friday.
Macanda also noted that Davis panel of experts appointed by former Reserve Bank governor Tito Mboweni found that Absa’s shareholders did not derive any undue benefit from the Reserve Bank’s intervention and as such no claim of restitution could be pursued against Absa.
It must be noted that the matters and events under investigation occurred during the period 1985 to 1995, 21 to 31 years ago, the bank noted.
The full Davis Panel Report can be accessed here