BACKLASH: Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane

Cape Town - Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane's report directing Parliament to change the mandate of the South African Reserve Bank (Sarb) was "reckless" and "damaging" to the country.

This is according to Reserve Bank governor Lesetja Kganyago in an affidavit filed in the high court in Pretoria after Mkhwebane earlier informed the court she would not oppose the review application by Sarb.

"The Public Protector's impugned remedial action had immediate and damaging consequences for the country. It is  clear from her answering affidavit that she had no regard to the inevitable and serious impact of her Report before releasing it," Kganyago's sworn affidavit said.

"The report was reckless. The Public Protector's explanation of it is based on a clear lack of understanding of the Constitution. It perpetuates a fundamental misunderstanding of the Bank's powers and functions."

Read also:  ABSA to challenge Public Protector Report 

In June, Mkhwebane released her final report regarding her investigation into the assistance provided by the Sarb to Bankorp between 1985 and 1995. Bankorp was acquired by Absa in 1992.

In her report titled “Alleged Failure to Recover misappropriated Funds”, Mkhwebane criticised government and Sarb for failing to recover an apartheid-era loan of R1.125 billion from Bankorp Limited/Absa Bank, advanced as an “illegal gift” to the Bankorp group. Mkhwebane also directed Parliament to effect a Constitutional amendment to Sarb’s powers.