Friday, 15 December, 2017

S.Africa watchdog says Barclays Africa must repay $86.44 mln over bailouts

Mike Hodges | 20 June, 2017, 00:08

Mkhwebane released the Ciex report, along with three other reports on various spheres of government, on Monday during a press briefing.

Sections in the Constitution on the Reserve Bank must be changed to say its primary objective is to "promote balanced and sustainable economic growth" and to ensure citizens' "socio-economic well-being" is protected.

Cape Town - The Democratic Alliance (DA) has called on Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane to release four reports involving the Gupta family on Monday "in the interest of transparency and the South African public".

Absa said in a statement it had not received a copy of the report and denied any wrongdoing, saying it "met all its obligations in respect of the loan provided by the South African Reserve Bank by October 1995".

"We will continue to honour our constitutional mandate and the trust placed in us by the South African society".

The Public Protector also found that Absa had "unduly benefited" from the bailout.

Economists Nic Borain and Jeff Schultz at BNP Paribas South Africa said in a note that the Public Protector had placed the future of the central bank's autonomy into question.

Barclays Africa would have to pay 1.1 billion rand ($86 million), Mkhwebane said, adding that her office had referred the matter to the Special Investigating Unit to help recover the money.

In December, the president lodged an application at the High Court in Pretoria to review and set aside the remedial action in the State of Capture report. At the time the preliminary report was compiled, these parties had not yet responded to investigators at the public protector's office.

At the same event, Mkhwebane said she will oppose a bid by President Jacob Zuma to have set aside a report on claims of influence-peddling by him and his government.

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