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South Africa's Absa Bank to challenge anti-graft report
June 30, 2017 / 3:23 PM / 5 months ago

South Africa's Absa Bank to challenge anti-graft report

JOHANNESBURG, June 30 (Reuters) - South Africa’s Absa Bank , one of the country’s largest financial groups, said on Friday it would go to court to challenge a report by the anti-graft watchdog that said the lender unduly benefited from an apartheid-era bailout.

Absa said it made the decision to take the matter to court due to “the numerous misrepresentations and factual inaccuracies” which were used as the basis for the report’s findings.

It did not say when it would file court papers.

On June 19, when the report was published, Absa said it would consider its legal options.

In her findings during the probe into Barclays Africa, Public Protector Busi Mkhwebane said the apartheid government breached the constitution by supplying Bankorp, which was acquired by Absa in 1992, with a series of bailouts from 1985 to 1995.

Absa is now owned by Barclays Africa and Mkhwebane said Barclays Africa must pay 1.1 billion rand ($84 million).

In January Mkhwebane reopened a probe of Absa, concerning the bailouts to Bankorp, following a wider report published last November by her predecessor.

$1 = 13.1183 rand Reporting by Tanisha Heiberg; Editing by James Macharia and Susan Fenton

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