By Pinky Khoabane
Cry my beloved country. Apartheid’s looters continue to be protected in Democratic South Africa. The latest in an avalanche of state capture by white capitalists and colonialists who have been allowed to escape accountability will be presented by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela before she leaves office.
Her office has confirmed she will not pronounce on the recoverability of the R26bn stolen by the apartheid government, the R3.2 illegal lifeboat given to Absa by the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) and the theft of bonds which were issued to Absa to trade with and from which ABSA shareholders and senior management raked in billions in commission.
Several investigations into ABSA’s gift from SARB in the form of a lifeboat have found the conduct illegal, unlawful and irregular; Ciex, Judges Willem Heath and Dennis Davies have all found the same. The only difference is that Davies’s panel stated that ABSA had paid back the money but concluded it would be difficult to determine the benefit or gain to the shareholder.
In contrast, Ciex and Heath were consistent in finding the shareholders and senior management to have benefited from brokerage fees and commission and recommended ABSA pays back the money.
At the time of filing this article, I was not able to speak to Hoffman for his explanation on why he chose to have only R3.2bn investigated when there was large scale looting. The explanation that it was low lying fruit suggests he included its recovery.
A bit of background into ABSA’s gift from Reserve Bank (An excerpt from an earlier post on Uncensored)
“Through the years, Bankorp struggled as a bank. Back in 1985, the Reserve Bank provided a ‘lifeboat’ (Dudu Myeni (SAA Chairperson) type of guarantee) of R300 million to Bankorp. Five years later, the bank was in trouble again. But luckily for Bankorp, a guy named Chris Stals had been appointed as the Governor of the Reserve Bank in 1989. Stals’ father had been a leader of the Broederbond and Chris was also a member. Chris invited Anton Rupert (Volkskas benefactor) to join the board of the Reserve Bank. Now, the Reserve Bank is responsible for setting the rules for all the banks and treating them all equally. But because this is South Africa, Bankorp was ‘advised’ by Sanlam to request ‘assistance’ from the Reserve Bank. This was illegal. So in a carefully-structured transaction, Chris Stals used his discretion as the governor to advance R1.5 billion to Bankorp at an interest rate of 1% per annum.
Bankorp took the R1,5 billion and split it into two. R1,1 billion was invested in government bonds that generated returns much higher than the 1% fee. And the R400 million? It was deposited with the same Reserve Bank that had provided the facility and the interest rate to be earned on the R400 million was a remarkable 16% per annum”.
In fact, Ciex mentions that ABSA had begun to make provisions for repayment. The big question however is why the Heath and Davies’s Panel of Experts omitted to investigate the ABSA bonds, which Ciex mentions on Page 25 of the report?
The big question that still remains is why these investigations didn’t extend to the bonds ABSA received or the corruption involving the R400m mentioned above.
A showdown is looming (my words) between the Public Protector and forensic investigator, Jeff Koorbanally, a complainant in the matter of the maladministration and corruption by both the apartheid and current regime which involved the awarding of ABSA bonds by the SARB.
The Public Protector’s Office has confirmed the investigation relating to CIEX would focus on Advocate Paul Hoffman’s complaint on the ABSA life boat and related to the conduct of democratic SA’s response to the information that the money could be recovered. How shameful. Madonsela will only seek to know why Presidents Mandela and Mbeki didnt recover the money and not go further and be bold enough to ask white capitalists to repay the money.
The latest in a series of correspondence to Madonsela and others, Koorbanally states:
“Firstly let me clarify that all my emails sent to your office on the matter reported by both Adv Hoffman & myself while being separate matters, they do have a common denominator.
That denominator in both involve improper conduct by Govt (Finance Ministry/Treasury), Absa & Sarb as revealed by the Ciex Report.
Secondly I want to state that all the content of my emails is in no way intended to influence your office impartiality on these investigations & findings, but merely to point out the facts of the matter, as firstly being the official complainant of Maladministration on same & secondly as I have spent 8 years of independent investigations on the same.
Accordingly I have directed your office to the correct direction of the investigations namely Govt bonds, being the main tool/instrument of this corruption.
I have given your office names of all the individuals & institutions implicated in the corruption, i further gave your office specific details of the information to be subpoena(ed) and from whom”.
Warning of Bias
“It therefore (is) my strong submission that any findings that will exonerate Absa & Sarb Shareholders & Executives from the Liability of paying these benefits/rewards based on Chris Stals testimony will be bias(ed) and be an insult to our judiciary/justice system.
It will further create the perception that the OPP is not fully independent or impartial in certain investigations as currently seen in the media…..” he adds.
Alleged complicity by democratic SA
Koorbanally names democratic SA’s former presidents and current and former cabinet ministers as having known of the corruption. It is common cause that in the initial stages of our democracy, former finance minister and now employee of the Rothschild banking dynasty called for repayments. It is also common cause that his now wife, Maria Ramos, was appointed on Johann Rupert’s Sanlam and Remgro boards and eventually became the CEO of ABSA and Barclays Africa. Manuel, conveniently forgot the loan and many others. In the next post, we link who’s who in the memory loss of this saga.