5 things you need to know to understand the 'Public Protector vs Absa' debacle

Can’t wrap your head around the “Public Protector vs Absa debacle”?

You’re not alone.

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviewed Intellidex MD Stuart Theobald.

Theobald unpacked five things you need to know if you’re to understand what’s going on:

  • One new insight was the claim that Chris Stals said that Absa had agreed to cover the interest on the loans to Bankorp. Now, however, Stals says he was misquoted.

  • Without the Stals claim; there seems to be nothing in the PP report that has not been better handled by the Davis and Heath reports before it.

  • There is significant political heat around banking regulation as a whole. The closure of Gupta bank accounts remains an issue. Gupta associates are attempting to buy Habib Overseas Bank; this requires approval from the Finance Minister. The PP report adds pressure on the Reserve Bank.

  • The PP report feeds into a narrative of attempting to cast aspersions on prominent business people in an effort to draw a false equivalence to some of the allegations levelled against the Guptas. The PP report is being used to suggest that Johann Rupert illegitimately benefited from apartheid era corruption. This is tenuous - the Bankorp lifeboat really helped Sanlam policy holders. Rupert has no interest in Absa - his banking exposure is to FirstRand, which is a rival.

  • All of this serves to muddy the water around the issue of state capture. We need to remain focused on what matters: the SA state's effectiveness and ability to deliver to ordinary South Africans is being compromised. That is the issue we should be animated by. We should also address apartheid-era corruption, but don't let that distract from what we need to do in the here and now.

For more detail; listen to the interview in the audio below.

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Article brought to us by Old Mutual.

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