Ministers ask Public Protector to investigate Treasury and banking sector

Johannesburg – The Office of the Public Protector on Tuesday confirmed that several ministers have written a letter requesting that she investigate the conduct, alleged collusion and corruption at National Treasury and other financial institutions.

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s spokesperson Oupa Segalwe said: “The Public Protector received a complaint against National Treasury, South African Reserve Bank, Financial Intelligence Centre, Public Investment Corporation and the Financial Services Board.

 “The complaint bears the names of 90 people who identify themselves as ‘ANC MPs and concerned South African citizens’. There are signatures next to only 49 of the names.

“The complaint will be subjected to the standard process of assessment for jurisdiction and merit before a decision is made on whether it will be investigated or not.”

The list of ministers requesting Mkhwebane to investigate state capture includes Malusi Gigaba, Nomvula Mokonyane, Bathabile Dlamini and David Mahlobo.

According to the letter, the entities consistently work in a manner detrimental to the majority of South Africa’s population.

'Few instead of many'

“Currently, they operate in the interests of the few instead of the majority. The phrase ‘state capture’ is now commonplace in South Africa and these institutions need to be investigated. They are at the heart of it, and always have been.

“This same Treasury has not increased welfare grants anywhere near in line with inflation. This imposes further hardship on our country’s most vulnerable citizens. Scandalously, food inflation is even higher than general inflation," the letter said.

“This means grant recipients are not just getting slightly poorer in terms of what they can buy with their money, but are even less equipped to fulfil their basic needs. This is a tragedy in what is considered Africa’s most developed nation.”

The ministers claim that many South African companies enjoy high profits.

“Treasury protects its friends in the business elite. This needs to be investigated… The banks that Treasury protects fail to provide access to financial products for black entrepreneurs. The working poor have virtually no access to credit.”

The ministers want Mkhwebane to investigate the PIC and treasury’s “control over it”.

“Why is there no investigation into why the Big Four banks shut the accounts of a major South African employer, almost overnight, with no credible evidence or explanation?...Our President has made enemies of this elite and that is why they are out to destroy him.”