ANCYL applauds Mkhwebane's final report on Absa

Johannesburg – The ANCYL says it is "motivated" by Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane's final report on the South African Reserve Bank's R1.125 billion bailout of Bankorp.

Among Mkhwebane's findings was that the bailout was unlawful and that Absa must pay back the money.

This relates to SARB’s assistance to Bankorp between 1985 and 1995. Absa acquired Bankorp in April 1992.

"It is public knowledge that we were among the first organisations who vociferously called for ABSA to pay the money due to South Africans by staging a massive march to their head offices. As expected, right-wingers and co-opted ilk in the public discourse ridiculed us. We will demand that money be utilised to fund education. Indeed today history is on our side," said ANCYL spokesperson Mlondi Mkhize.

Mkhwebane said two investigations into the matter established that the financial aid given to Bankorp Limited/ABSA Bank was irregular.

She found that, in granting the financial aid to Bankorp, the SARB failed to comply with the South African Reserve Bank Act. Furthermore, she said the Ministry of Finance had a duty in terms of the act to ensure compliance by SARB, something she said it failed to do.

She also found that the government failed to adhere to section 195 of the Constitution by failing to promote efficient and effective public administration. 

"In the circumstances, the conduct of the SA government and the SARB constitutes improper conduct as envisaged in section 182(1) of the Constitution and maladministration as envisaged in section 6 of the Public Protector Act," said Mkhwebane.

"We also hope that the foreign owned South African Reserve Bank will cooperate with our institutions in making sure that all 'misappropriated public funds' are recovered. We will further seek audience with the Reserve Bank to raise other related matters," Mkhize said.
Mkhize said the ANCYL also applauded Mkhwebane for bringing about a grassroots approach in handling investigations as it was clear from most of the reports she issued on Monday. 

"To us that brings true meaning of what the office ought to be pre-occupied with and not [about chasing] investigations that make headlines whilst there’s a backlog dating back as far as 2011. We thank all those who believed in us when we raised this matter, indeed tomorrow will be better than today."

The South African Communist Party has called for full exposure and explanation from both the South African Reserve Bank and ABSA for what it calls a travesty.

"The people of this country who must be the final arbiters and judges are entitled to know the full facts and circumstances surrounding the entire arrangement," SACP's Blade Nzimande said.

Nzimande said the entire report must be made public.

"We cannot place the fate of South Africans solely in the hands of the financial markets."