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Barclays Africa must repay 1.1 billion rand over bailouts

PRETORIA (Reuters) - Barclays Africa Group unduly benefited from apartheid-era bailouts and must repay 1.1 billion rand ($86 million), South Africa's anti-graft watchdog said on Monday.

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane in January reopened a probe of Barclays South Africa following a wider report published last November by her predecessor.

She said on Monday that the probe had found that the apartheid government breached the constitution by supplying Bankorp, which was acquired by Barclays Africa unit Absa in 1992, with a series of bailouts from 1986 to 1995.

Barclays Africa would have to pay 1.1 billion rand ($86 million), Mkhwebane said, adding that her office had referred the matter to the Special Investigating Unit to help recover the money.

Barclays Africa said it planned to issue a statement.

($1 = 12.7941 rand)

(Reporting by Dinky Mkhize; writing by Ed Stoddard and Tiisetso Motsoeneng; editing by James Macharia and Jason Neely)