2 Muharram 1439 AH • 23 September 2017

Public Protector plotted with Presidency on SARB mandate: report

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Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane conspired with the Presidency to have the mandate of the Reserve Bank changed, the bank stated in a new affidavit filed on Monday.

SARB spokesperson Jabulani Sikhakhane confirmed that SARB filed the new affidavit on Monday, in which the bank indicates that Mkhwebane had met with the Presidency and the State Security Agency to amend the Reserve Bank’s Constitutional mandate to protect the currency.

EWN reported on Tuesday the papers before the court show that just two weeks before Mkhwebane released her final report, she met with the Presidency’s legal adviser where the remedial action to change the Reserve Bank’s constitutional mandate was discussed.

It’s also revealed that Mkhwebane met with the State Security Agency, according to the EWN report.

In mid-August the SARB had won its court bid against the Public Protector, to have the remedial action to change its mandate set aside.

Mkhwebane’s order was based on a report which focused on an investigation on the Bankorp bailout during the apartheid era.

Mkhwebane ordered the bank’s mandate to be changed to ensure the socio-economic well-being of citizens and to achieve socio-economic transformation. The Reserve Bank contested this on several grounds, including the fact that it was beyond the scope of powers of the Office of the Public Protector.

The remedial action was not related to the primary investigation either.

Reserve Bank governor Lesetja Kganyago previously said that the bank’s primary objective is to protect the value of the currency, in the interest of balanced and sustainable growth.

“I know of no central bank that does not have this mandate. These institutions are best equipped to carry out this function, and stripping them of this mandate would raise the question as to where the responsibility for price stability should lie,” he said at the bank’s annual general meeting on July 28.

[Source: Fin24]

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