Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has dismissed calls for Absa to be strong-armed into repaying billions that were used to bail out Bankorp, saying it would be illegal and would contravene the constitution. This is in court papers he filed as a respondent in Black Land First's application that he be compelled to recover billions looted from the state in the dying days of apartheid. The case involving Absa concerns R1.5-billion that was illegally given by the Reserve Bank to Bankorp, which later became Absa. CIEX, a British firm made up of former MI5 and MI6 operatives, had approached the government in the late 1990s saying it could recover the money for a fee. In his papers Gordhan said CIEX's recommendations, which involved the Reserve Bank threatening Absa into paying the money back without it going to court, had not been implemented because they were unlawful. The report is also the subject of an investigation by the public protector. "That the CIEX report has not been considered a...

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