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South Africa Ombudsman Opposes Zuma Bid to Overturn Graft Report


On Monday she told a news conference her office would oppose Zuma's application to have the report set aside.

Mkhwebane said the changes in the final report were made as a result of responses from parties who were implicated in the report - including the treasury, the presidency, the Reserve Bank and Absa.

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane in January reopened a probe of Barclays South Africa following a wider report published last November by her predecessor. Comrades who were in government when the CIEX report came out where defensive when it came to this matter.

The Sunday Times reported that she had sat on at least four separate investigative reports involving the Gupta family since she took up office eight months ago.

"We also think that it is possible that the public protector has overstepped her powers in instructing Parliament to change the constitution and, therefore, her report is likely to face judicial review", Borain and Schultz said.

She has now recommended that the Special Investigating Unit recover the R1.1 billion from ABSA.

The Public Protector has probed allegations that CIEX, a covert United Kingdom-based asset recovery agency headed by Michael Oatley, was contracted by Pretoria to assist in investigating and recovering misappropriated public funds and assets allegedly committed during the reign of the apartheid regime.

Mkhwebane has also directed the portfolio committee on justice and correctional services to initiate a process to amend the Constitution.

In her recommendations, Mkhwebane said the constitution should be changed to make promoting balanced and sustainable economic growth the primary objective of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB).

South African bonds weakened on Monday afternoon in line with the rand, which in turn, was affected by local political concerns.

The Reserve Bank was not available to comment.

Ciex released a report soon after, titled Project Spear, which investigated how banks in the Bankorp group were offered R1.5-billion by the apartheid government as a "lifeboat" to offset bad loans. A preliminary report was completed in December 2016.

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