By Jeff Koorbanally
Dear Adv Thuli Mandosela
I was totally shocked & flabbergasted today, the 12th October 2016, to hear from the OPP (Office of the Public Protector) for the first time that my matter which was officially lodged in your Cape Town offices as “Mal-Administration against the Old & New regimes” in 2013, is not being investigated & neither was it incorporated into the Ciex report investigations given that the matter of the Surtie inheritance was included in the Ciex report (laundered into Govt bonds – the same bonds which were highlighted on page 25 of the Ciex Report).
To remind you, I lodged my complaint here in Cape Town as a result of a request that came from your Pretoria office to Cape town office (Lucky Plum) to lodge the complaint here due to jurisdiction. The deceased estate for which I was claiming the assets was registered with the Master Office in Cape Town. The Estate No was 5349/2011 deceased A.R.T. Surtie of Maseru Lesotho.
This request from your Pretoria office came after an associate of mine (name withdrawn as requested by the associate) intervened and requested the OPP to incorporate my investigations into the Ciex report which your office had already busy with since 2011. The file was then sent directly to you by your Cape Town regional manager Sue when she took over the office after I complained to her that I was not getting any update on the investigations.
Chronology of events
I placed myself on record as the private forensic investigator in the matter in July 2011 in a telephone conversation with yourself. I explained to you then my interest in this matter and I immediately shared information with you regarding the discovery of a secret dormant account 0000/4444 on the ABSA database which was linked to the Surties – a matter I had been investigating since 2009.
From that point onwards until now, I have shared hundreds of information on all the evidence you required to conclude your investigation. I told you to direct the focus of the investigations to the bonds issue. I explained to you that the bonds were the tool/instrument that was used to fund the whole corruption including but not limited to the lifeboat.
You then agreed with me and actually sent me a letter to thank me for all the information and assured me that all the info would be used to pursue the Mal Administration investigations.
This letter has your signature on it which means it was not just written by your PA Juliet Nkabinde.
It is my strong submission that the manner in which this complaint of the Ciex Report was handled from the outset has compromised the integrity of the OPP.
You have contradicted yourself too many times in this matter.
At the beginning of 2011 you correctly quoted the restrictions on the Public Protector Act, in terms of the period allowed on matters of investigations. You clearly stated that in matters that were more that 2 years old your office had the discretion to take them-on or not.
You stated the factors that the OPP would consider when taking cases older than 2 years were the following:
- The period of the complaint had to fall within the period following the formation of the OPP which was on October 1, 1995.
- You then decided that you were going to take this matter and limit it to what happened between 1996-2001 which was during the terms of office of Hon Mandela & Hon Mbeki, and clearly stated that you could not investigate matters that happened during the Apartheid Era.
- Now, as it turns out, contrary to all of the above, your office has confirmed that it is only investigating the ABSA Lifeboat and alleged failure to recover money given as a loan to Bankcorp, the complainant being Adv Paul Hoffman. This happened from 1985 – 1994, which is in the Apartheid Era.
- This is also contrary to what I was made to believe in my interaction with Adv Paul Hoffman since 2011 that his complaint to your office was:
“Govt spent Millions of rands in the inquiries of Ciex investigations and the Heath Commission to investigate the apartheid plunder and yet the government of the Republic of South Africa mishandled the opportunity to claim back the money & Failed the Opportunity to recover these monies.”
The fact that your office has confirmed that the whole Ciex report was confined to the ABSA lifeboat only clearly indicates there was some hidden agenda or ulterior motive to your decision to take this matter on in the first place which raises the following questions:
- Why did you decide to take a matter which fell outside the scope of time of the OPP & further be selective & leave the others which are in the same report?
- If your reasons were because among others, Adv Paul Hoffman (said it was) easy recovery, why then has it taken more that 5 years?
- Why did you have to investigate this lifeboat after I told you doing so was a waste of tax payers’ money as it would be a duplication of what was already done by both Judges Heath & Davies? I told you to investigate the Bonds given to Absa instead and you agreed.
- What have you done with all the information & evidence I forwarded to you on this matter relating to the bonds given to ABSA by South African Reserve Bank in secret ?
- Why did you not inform me that the hundreds if not thousands of correspondence sent to you of which I have evidence it was received and read by your PA, was irrelevant to what you were investigating ?
- After receiving my file of my complaint from the Cape Town branch why did you not find it proper to inform me that your office will not be investigating it or incorporate it into Ciex report as that what it was referred as?
- Why did you call your Absa lifeboat investigations Ciex report investigations ? Was this intended to mislead the public? Why couldn’t you just call your investigations simply “Absa lifeboat” as that what your office referred to it as?
- Why did you choose not to query my complaint file when you received it from the Cape Town office as it was cleared marked ”to be incorporated into ciex report”?
- It has been alleged that you are consulting with Judge Dennis Davies for advice on the Absa lifeboat, if so that will be an act of bias. The OPP investigations are supposed to be impartial & independent from any previous investigations. What you had to do was to interview him and ask him if the issue of the bonds given to Absa were part of the Terms of reference in the investigation he headed and if his Panel’s findings would have been the same or not?
I put it to you that there was absolutely no need for you to consult with Judge Dennis Davies on the issue of Absa lifeboat. The Panel report was very clear on that matter – that it was possible to recover the money from the shareholders and that the only challenge was to determine the extent of benefit they gained from the irregular lifeboat. I told you and directed you to the proof that Absa shareholders benefited hundreds of billions from this corruption including the bonds which were never investigated after several requests were made by myself in addition to the alarm that was raised by the Ciex Report, which clearly said Govt must investigate these bonds as they had a potential to create a huge liability to the democratic govt.
In your many media briefings, more specifically the interview with Dianne Hawker (eNCA) july 2011, you stated the following:
That you had reversed the initial decision not to investigate allegations that upwards of R26 billion was looted from state coffers via various schemes under apartheid & further said: “In addition to speaking to the alleged beneficiaries of the looted funds, the government would have to be questioned.
“My approach has been that if we are going to do it, we will go beyond just asking the implicated.
“The government also has to be interviewed in terms of where they stand with this and what was their reaction to this, because remember this was commissioned.
“The starting point is also to find out what has been done since this was commissioned. And if nothing was done, why nothing was done.”
You further made a call to the public, in this interview, that anyone with information should come forward.
Let us now deal with the mentioned commissions, which to the best of my knowledge there was only one.
#Heath Commission of Enquiry into maladministration & corruption as disclosed by the Ciex Report 1995 – 1997.
The findings of Hon Judge Heath in the above commission was in support of the Ciex Report except on the issue of the Absa lifeboat in which there were question marks or benefit of doubt, as to whether is was legal or not & whether it was done in the interest to protect our banking sector from possible collapse.
#That resulted in the Governor of SARB, Tito Mboweni, appointing a panel of experts on 15th June 2000 to investigate Sarb`s role with regards to the financial assistance package to Bankorp Limited.
Take special note that Mboweni instructed ”the Panel” & appointed Hon Judge Dennis Davies to head the investigations.
Also take special note of the Terms of Reference given by Mboweni numbered 1-5 on the report. You will see that the Panel interpreted the terms of reference to include the agreement between Sarb & Absa which was only concluded in 1994 as a result of the acquisition of Bankkorp by Absa in 1992.
Correct me if I am wrong, the above was not a commission but Tito Mboweni `s initiative in his capacity as the Sarb Governor which is a public entity & not part of Government. It was therefore a Mboweni initiative that was intended to finally bury the whole matter of the lifeboat, to discredit the Ciex report & Heath Commission & to please Sanlam. They did praise him for it… why?
While busy with this initiative to clear all Absa shareholders (Remgro and Sanlam) of any wrongdoing and cover-up the benefits they earned, why did he not find it proper to include the bonds that the same institution he represented (Sarb) gave ABSA in a secret deal and in total favour to appoint them as Brokers? This favour earned ABSA & its shareholders & executives hundreds of billions over the trade period of those bonds. SARB’s continued permission to allow ABSA to forex trade with the proceeds of this trading account- an act called “Churning” – is a breach of securities law in many jurisdictions, and it is generally actionable by the account holder for the return of the commissions paid, and any losses occasioned by the broker’s choice of stocks.
In conclusion I put it to the PP that you failed to appropriately & impartially deal with the biggest international corruption, economic terrorism or financial terrorism which was orchestrated specifically for the economic de-stabilisation by the Afrikaner Broederbond.
This was done “economic warfare style” which is undertaken by states against other states. Economic warfare aims to capture or otherwise control the supply of critical economic resources so that the military and intelligence agencies cannot operate at full efficiency or to deprive enemy forces of those resources so they cannot function properly. This entailed varied, coordinated and sophisticated or massive de stabilizing actions in order to disrupt the economic and financial stability of the State of the RSA.
The OPP will go down in the history of this country as having sided with this group of Criminals. It will go down as an institution that failed & robbed the people of this country from knowing the truth which the TRC omitted to investigage, which is serious economic crimes committed by the Apartheid Govt and its impact on today’s democracy.
The OPP must now release the Biased, Selective report of the ABSA lifeboat and allow us to challenge it at the highest level including but not limited to the ConCourt. As I mentioned this was a serious international economic crime which has the potential to bring this country down to Zero economically.
This WhiteWash report should have been released in August 2011 already as there was absolutely no investigation that was needed for the OPP to come out with partial findings on this matter. It was a straight forward case. But the OPP played mind games with the public of this country to make them believe that deep investigations were being carried out. I and many other intelligent people in this country will not buy into that!
Please on release of the WhiteWash report give & disclose the cost of this investigation over the five year period as you claimed to have worked on it. We want to know who the external service providers are, what they actually did and how much they were paid.
If we are serious about dealing with corruption in this country, which your office is mandated with, then we must stop being selective! Let’s deal with corruption as a whole. Corruption has no color or ethnic group nor Culture.