Public protectors differ on Absa deal
FORMER public protector Thuli Madonsela found it would be unlawful to expect Absa to pay back the government money that was used to bail out Bankorp‚ but her successor, Busisiwe Mkhwebane, has released the same report with the opposite findings.
Absa filed a second affidavit yesterday in its case to have the public protector report that it pay back the money be set aside.
Absa bought Bankorp after it was bailed out by the apartheid government’s Reserve Bank and Mkhwebane alleged Absa should pay back the state money used for the deal.
When she released the report, Absa demanded the record of documents she used to make her decision.
She provided some of them to court but not all.
Those provided reveal that Madonsela came to a different conclusion to Mkhwebane.
In its second affidavit‚ Absa revealed that Madonsela came to the conclusion it would not be lawful‚ reasonable or fair to recover as prescription and dictates of fairness to current Absa investors militate against any action to recover.
In a statement Absa said: “The fact that the current public protector came to a different conclusion is significant.”
The record also shows how Mkhwebane had discussed the idea with the secret service and an economist that government should take shares in Absa as a way to pay back money.
Furthermore, the record indicates Mkhwebane was missing some of the transcripts from interviews that Madonsela used to write her report.
“It is not clear on what basis Ms Mkhwebane chose to ignore Madonsela’s conclusions‚” Absa said.
The bank has asked for the complete record leading up to why Mkhwebane made her decision.
“To date‚ the public protector failed to furnish us with the complete record.
“There are many outstanding critical documents, many of which the public protector says she has not had sight of‚” Absa said.