Mkhwebane’s High Court bid in Absa matter falls flat

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Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has lost a High Court bid to avoid being held personally liable for part of the legal costs in the matter involving Absa/Bankorp.

Last year, Mkhwebane released a report which found that Absa needed to pay back more than R2-billion to the Reserve Bank. However, the High Court in Pretoria dismissed the report in February.

Last month, the High Court ruled that the Public Protector’s office pay 85 % of the court case costs and Mkhwebane would be personally liable for the remaining 15%.

Mkhwebane’s 2017 report found that Absa unduly benefited from an early 1990’s deal where treasury gave Bankorp money and Absa later bought Bankorp.

The report then directed the Special Investigating Unit to recover the alleged misappropriated funds.

The Reserve Bank and Treasury successfully took the report on review. The court then ruled that the public protector’s remedial action was unlawful and there was unreasonable bias.

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