‘State of Capture and Bankorp/Absa reports shouldn’t be played off against each other’: Casac

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‘State of Capture and Bankorp/Absa reports shouldn’t be played off against each other’: Casac

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\n TMG Digital | 2017-01-18 13:10:12.0\n \n \n \n \n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n \n\n \n\n\n \n \n

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\n \n \n \n Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. File photo \n \n \n \n
Image by: Reuters \n \n \n \n

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\n The Council for the Advancement of South African Constitution (Casac) on Wednesday warned about “rash conclusions” being drawn on the leaked public protector’s provisional report “on the payments made by the Reserve Bank to Bankorp/Absa in the late 1980s and early 1990s”.\n

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“…We should rather allow the public protector to complete the investigation. This will involve considering the views of the parties to whom the provisional report has been sent before the report is finalised and made public‚” a statement said.

“It is important that we uncover the precise nature and details of the Bankorp/Absa deal and determine whether there is any present-day liability in respect of the deal.

“Corruption can never be excused or tolerated and once it is uncovered‚ it falls on those who have been vested with legal authority to investigate matters fully and take appropriate action.”

BusinessLIVE reported on Wednesday that the draft report hit serious credibility issues‚ as former Bank governor Chris Stals said that claims attributed to him in the report were wrong.

One of the key findings of the report‚ which was initially researched by Thuli Madonsela and completed by her successor Busisiwe Mkhwebane‚ was that evidence presented by Stals suggested the Bank had an agreement with Absa to repay both the capital amount and the interest‚ on which it later reneged‚ repaying only the capital amount.

It is this finding that led Mkhwebane to recommend that the Bank and the Treasury pursue Absa for the outstanding interest of R1.225-billion‚ plus interest accrued since then.

Stals on Tuesday said this finding was incorrect or a misunderstanding.

Casac urged “Mkhwebane to urgently clarify whether a provisional report was sent out‚ to whom it was sent‚ and to provide timeframes for the completion of the investigation”.

The progressive platform said action also “needs to be taken urgently as regards the ‘State of Capture’ report released by the public protector last year”.

“That report detailed several instances of alleged state capture and bribery which have served only to erode trust in our government and public institutions at the very highest levels‚” the statement said.

“Some have sought to simplistically equate the two investigations and thereby blur the distinction between them. This has been unhelpful because the two investigations are markedly different.

“They should not be ‘played off’ against each other. They should therefore rather both be brought to finality expeditiously and their findings and recommendations acted upon without fear or favour.” – TMG Digital

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