Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane
Former Governor Chris Stals has confirmed what Ciex representatives have been saying all along – ABSA knew of the money it owed and made provision to repay the apartheid-era lifeboat Bankorp received from the South African Reserve Bank (Sarb).
In an interview with UnCensored, Liesl Gothert, a Ciex representative, said ABSA had made provision to repay the money in annual payments over four years. http://uncensoredopinion.co.za/zuma-promised-pursue-case-apartheid-looting-ciex/Furthermore she said, when they warned Barclays – at the time when it was buying ABSA – of the risk of buying a company which owed R3.2 billion, it (Barclays) didn’t seem concerned. “It was either they had assurances the money would not be asked for or they had the money to pay it,” she said.
According to a report in Huffington post, Stals in his submission to the public protector’s investigation “confirmed that Absa committed in writing that they repay the interest on the loan”.
The leaked preliminary report by Public Protector Busisiwe Mkwebane, which recommends that ABSA pay R2.25 billion, has been slammed by several editors, who view the decision as political. They have linked Mkhwebane to President Jacob Zuma and claim this is a way of getting back at ABSA for closing the Gupta.
However, as it turns out, Stals who was at the helm of the Sarb and was a broederbond member who helped fellow members who headed organisations which were struggling financially, has finally confirmed that ABSA owed the money and he has evidence to prove it.
Hennie Van Vuuren, a researcher who has for years been doing work on apartheid-era economic theft, in the Huffingtonpost, has warned against clouding the damning evidence by Stals with political issues.
Mkhwebane’s decision to call for the money has been met with hostility from a large section of the commercial media who are disregarding the evidence and attempting to discredit the public protector and the report.
The issues raised do not only include Mkwhebane’s ties to the president but questions are being asked about whether she changed the report by former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, who had been investigating the ABSA matter for about five years. Despite having promised to release her findings by the time she left, she failed to do so.
At the time of leaving office, her staff said they had sent-out the preliminary report to the various people implicated and were awaiting their response. This is seemingly untrue as it now emerges that the implicated parties – ABSA, Treasury, Sarb – only received the draft signed by Mkhwebane.