South Africa watchdog to oppose Zuma plan to block influence-peddling report

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At the same event, Mkhwebane said she will oppose a bid by President Jacob Zuma to have set aside a report on claims of influence-peddling by him and his government.

Mkhwebane was speaking at a news conference in Pretoria.

"The allegation whether the South African government improperly failed to implement the CIEX report ... after commissioning and duly paying for same is substantiated".

Mkhwebane said her office found no evidence that government acted after the Ceix report was released.

Mkhwebane, responding to allegations of being captured by president Zuma, said: "I'm captured by the Constitution, not by anyone, I'm here to serve South Africans". Zuma and the Guptas denied wrongdoing.

"Therefore, on receiving the responses of all those who were implicated. that's why the report is totally changed from what was originally leaked to the media", Mkhwebane said.

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She directed that a commission of inquiry be set up to continue the investigation, as her term of office was expiring.

The SIU now has the task of investigating the bailout and recovering public funds paid to Absa.

She said this failure constitutes "improper conduct and maladministration" and wants the SIU to recover the "misappropriated" public funds unlawfully given to Absa and investigate other institutions mentioned in the Ciex report. CIEX Limited was paid 600,000 British Pounds for services which were never used by the South African government.

Sections in the Constitution on the Reserve Bank must be changed to say its primary objective is to "promote balanced and sustainable economic growth" and to ensure citizens' "socio-economic well-being" is protected.

Ratings agencies have previously cited the independence of the Reserve Bank as one of the institutional strengths that counts in the country's favour.

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