'I don’t know anything': deputy public protector on Absa-Bankorp matter

30 July 2019 - 11:49 By Nico Gous
Deputy public protector Kevin Malunga says there are a lot of things the office of the public protector has got wrong. 'For example, I think we should be consulting each other a lot more.'
Deputy public protector Kevin Malunga says there are a lot of things the office of the public protector has got wrong. 'For example, I think we should be consulting each other a lot more.'
Image: Ihsaan Haffejee

The deputy public protector says he does not know “anything” about the Absa-Bankorp report.

“There’s a lot of things I think the office [of the public protector] has gotten wrong. For example, I think we should be consulting each other a lot more. I don’t know anything about the Absa report sitting here as deputy public protector,” Kevin Malunga told eNCA during an interview on Monday night.

“I think these are lessons that should be learned in future for the institution to grow,” he added.

The Constitutional Court on July 22 dismissed public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s application to set aside a Pretoria High Court judgment last year which ordered that she should pay 15% of the costs from her own pocket.

Mkhwebane is personally liable for about R900,000. This matter was about Mkhwebane’s 2017 Absa-Bankorp report which said in its remedial action that Absa should repay R1.1bn to the Reserve Bank.

The Pretoria High Court on Monday also stopped Mkhwebane from enforcing the remedial actions of her report on the revenue service's (Sars's) so-called rogue unit.

Malunga said despite their recent setbacks in court, the work of the public protector continues.

“This a very big operation that involves hundreds of investigations ... These high-profile cases constitute less than 1% of the work that the institution does ... That’s what we do 99% of the time,” Malunga said.

“I don’t lose sleep over Pravin Gordhan or Cyril Ramaphosa, but I do lose sleep over that gogo (grandmother) who says her pension hasn’t been paid seven years down the line. I certainly lose sleep over that refugee whose permit is missing. I lose sleep over that tender that has led to a service delivery protest.”

Malunga's interview drew criticism from the EFF.


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