“It is our firm position that there is no obligation to pay anything to the SA government‚” Absa said in a statement on Monday.
It was responding to Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s findings regarding her investigation into the SA Reserve Bank’s assistance to Bankorp between 1985 and 1995.
Mkhwebane on Monday referred the matter to the Special Investigating Unit to approach President Jacob Zuma to reopen and amend a proclamation published in 1998 in order to recover misappropriated public funds unlawfully given to Absa bank.
Mkhwebane said the correct amount of the illegal gift granted to Bankorp Limited/ABSA Bank was in the amount of R1.125-billion.
“Two investigations into the matter established that the financial aid given to Bankorp Limited/ABSA Bank was irregular‚” Mkhwebane said.
In a statement on Monday afternoon‚ Absa said it had not yet received a copy of the report and was urgently requesting the Public Protector’s Office to send it to the bank.
“Once we have read it we will consider our legal options including seeking a High Court review‚” Absa said.
Absa had submitted to the Public Protector in January that there was a misunderstanding on the part of the Public Protector regarding the contracts that were signed between Absa and the Reserve Bank after Absa had bought Bankorp.
By Ernest Mabuza – Tiso Black Star Group