Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane Photo: INLSA

Johannesburg - The African National Congress Women's League (ANCWL) on Friday slammed the "enormous attacks" allegedly being mounted against Public Protector Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane. 

This after it emerged that Mkhwebane had secret meetings with officials from the Presidency and the State Security Agency (SSA) days before releasing a final report into the CIEX on Absa.

This was revealed in court papers filed by SARB in the Pretoria High Court earlier this week. 

Mkhwebane's CIEX report, released on June 19 found that Absa bank should pay R1.15 billion to the fiscus over an "illegal gift given to Bankorp Limited/Absa Bank between 1986 and 1995"

The public protector also recommended that the mandate of the SARB be changed from targeting inflation to promoting economic growth.

Mkhwebane has since defended her disputed June 7 meeting with the Presidency, maintaining that “there was nothing sinister about that meeting”. 

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The women's league in a statement said it noted "with regret" the smear campaign launched against Mkhwebane. 

"Since her office released the CIEX report, Adv Mkhwebane has endured enormous attacks from those who are implicated, their proxies, defenders and beneficiaries of the CIEX loot.

"SARB, instead of focusing on complying with the remedial actions of the report and supervise the bank sector that is untransformed and some of the banks exposed by Competition Commission for manipulating the South African currency, has joined the smear campaign to discredit the Public Protector.

The ANCWL further accused SARB of attempting to divert attention from the CIEX report with accusations that the public protector was colluding with the SSA and Presidency.

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The league then demanded that SARB comply with the remedial actions contained in the report and "stop the populist demagoguery stances of playing to the gallery casting aspersions against the PP".

"The ANCWL calls all its supporters, members and society in general to defend the Office of the Public Protector against any forms of smear campaigns. 

"The public protector must continue exercising her powers and performing her duties without fear, favour or prejudice."