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ABSA knew it owed the money & had made provision to pay it back – CIEX

Busisiwe-Mkhwebane-2Public 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. 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.

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  1. On a previous article which discuss ABSAGate one of my fellow citizens Matlhomola Xaba mentioned that “one could prefer was for the state nationalise ABSA for this [corruption].” It is interesting opinion indeed, but before we (citizens) considering that, that we ensure they pay back all the money in cash, and I disagree with the proposal that ABSA pay in “easy terms”, the money stolen should be paid in cash with interest dating back from 1992 to present day.

    Going back to your opinion, perhaps this a right time that we (the people of South Africa) that we implement what is called “people’s bank” using ABSA as a pilot project. I am saying this because ABSA has violated one of serious Generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), we cannot continue having a criminal bank operating in our country, ABSA failed to uphold the law of the country. I do not think that the Minister of Finance should let ABSA operate as usual.

  2. Thank for your promising attempts to expose corruption tendencies of the apartheid era. We hope your report will open the minds of some academics and intellectuals who have been appraising the previous PP for ding good work keep it up.

    1. Thank you Themba for your support and for reading. Whoever leaked that report is having a hard time managing the crises. It has backfired terribly.

      Lots of questions to be answered regarding the draft left by Thuli Madonsela.

      If indeed Chris Stals spoke to her and confirmed that Absa had written a letter acknowledging debt and that they would pay, why Madonsela demand the money?

      The idea was to put the blame on current PP and discredit the report, thankfully we still have honourable people like the researcher, Van Vuuren, who has now brought into the picture the confession by Stals.

      We wait and look on with interest.



  3. It is interesting to note that no one in the mainstream media wants to publish the CIEX Report for the public to read and discuss. What they seem to support are the findings of the Tito Mboweni panel headed by Davies because these seem to absolve Absa shareholders of deriving any benefits. Because of the Judge Davies conclusions the media and Absa are therefore rubbishing the CIEX Report. Maria Ramos also chooses to go along with Judge Davies report and disregards other reports. So this issue will be interesting when all the details are released in the final PP report. Where does the Koorbanally complaint on Absa bons come in here or its still to be considered? Are we still going to have more PP investigations into other beneficiaries of stolen State funds in the apartheid era?

    1. When Koorbanally discovered that his complaint on ABSA bonds wasnt included in the complaint by Adv Hoffmann, he was very angry. He had said in several correspondence to the then PP that he would contest the findings. And so he’s probably waiting for the final draft. But there certainly is nothing in this report that points to the Absa bonds being part of the complaint. Again, the issue of broadening the scope of the investigation as recommended by PP Busisiwe, is obviously and would open investigations to include the ABSA bonds matter.
      All in all, we await the final report.



  4. How’s the most celebrated former Minister of Finance (Trevor Manuel) going to save his wife, former Director General of Treasury and CEO of ABSA (Maria Ramos)? Time for the power couple to shine?

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