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The Reserve Bank must make all records available

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The Reserve Bank must make all records available
The Reserve Bank must make all records available
171 SIGNATURES
200 signatures required

The provisional report by the Public Protector recommends that Absa pay back R2.25 billion its corporate predecessor, Bankorp, received as part of an unlawful apartheid-era bailout. Sanlam, the Rembrandt Group and the other companies that allegedly received money from the Reserve Bank have a case to answer. If the Reserve Bank of South Africa were to release all records pertaining to this investigation, this can set the ball rolling in getting Absa to pay back the monies it owes. The SARB essentially exceeded its mandate and acted illegally [1]. 

In 1999, Willem Heath of the Special Investigating Unit looked into the matter, and while concluding that something unlawful had taken place, declined to institute claims on the advice that doing so might create a run on the bank with the risk of this spreading to other banks [2].
That this issue has gone unresolved for so many years begs the question as to why our elected leaders have not made any meaningful effort in recovering these monies. Right now, with media attention fully on the issue, we need to pile up the pressure into the finalization of the report and the recovery of these monies.

Former Reserve Bank governor Tito Mboweni appointed a panel of experts (Davis panel) headed by Judge Dennis Davis of the Cape High Court to investigate the Reserve Bank's role in extending a lifeboat to Bankorp. The panel found the scope of the assistance was wrong and the "loan" was in actual fact a donation or grant and that the principal beneficiaries were not Absa's shareholders, but Sanlam policyholders, who had a stake in Bankorp [1].

Dear Mr. Lesetja Kganyago, Governor of the Reserve Bank of South Africa

We, the undersigned, call on you to make all records pertaining to the Absa lifeboat saga available so that the relevant parties may conclude the investigation into this matter. It is in the public interest to resolve this matter as soon as possible. The Davis panel appointed by your predecessor, Tito Mboweni, found that the scope of the assistance provided by the Reserve Bank was wrong and the "loan" was in actual fact a donation or grant. The panel went further by including a legal opinion on restitution. Every investigation into the continued financial assistance provided to Bankorp and then Absa by the Reserve Bank from 1985 to 1995 has agreed that the conduct was unlawful and contrary to all good banking practice.

[1] The Davis Panel: The Reserve Bank Acted Illegally, But Absa Isn't Liable, Pieter du Toit for The Huffington Post. Jan 17, 2017.

[2] Ten curious things about the Absa-Bankorp-Sarb ‘lifeboat’, Warren Thompson for Moneyweb. Jan 16, 2017.

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If the Reserve Bank of South Africa were to release all records pertaining to this investigation, we can pressure Absa to pay back the monies it owes. Forcing more transparency from a reluctant Reserve Bank will allow us to go after other apartheid era profiteers exposed in the documentary Project Spear.