Gigaba orders forensic audit of PIC

Cape Town - Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba has ordered a forensic audit of the all the Public Investment Corporation's investments for the past two years.

In a letter written to his deputy Sfiso Buthelezi, the chairperson of the PIC, Gigaba requested that the audit be carried out by a “reputable independent forensic company”.  

The PIC manages government employee pension funds and has about R1.86 trillion in assets.  

Gigaba asked Buthelezi to submit the terms of reference of the audit to his office by Monday, October 23.

His letter did not include a time frame for the completion of the audit.

“For fairness and thoroughness I have also requested that the board ensures that the terms of reference take into account events that have played out in the public gallery in the past few weeks and those it has dealt with internally,” he wrote.  

The finance minister did not specify which public events he was referring to.

But on September 26 he arranged a briefing to respond to issues "raised in the media", including an alleged plan to get rid of the PIC's CEO Dan Matjila, and an alleged R100bn bailout for state-owned enterprises that the PIC would fund.

At the briefing Gigaba said Matjila had his "full support" and the National Treasury had not requested a R100bn bailout from the PIC.

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On Friday, the finance minister had already requested Matjila and the corporation's board to provide his office with a list, within two weeks, of all its beneficiaries and the investments it has made. Gigaba said he intended to make this public.

He also asked the board to conduct a “forensic investigation into any concerns of irregularities”.

In the letter, which Gigaba signed on Tuesday, he specifies that Buthelezi must provide details of all PIC transactions since 2014, which he said must include the names of “advisors and sponsors of the transactions”.

He has also asked the PIC to “disclose all the BEE consortiums in these transactions”.

“This must specifically state each individual or legal entity that has participated in that consortium. In case of a legal entity, directors and shareholders of the entity must be disclosed,” he wrote.

"I also request that you furnish me with a list of transactions that you have concluded with parties that are classified as PIPS (prominent influential persons)."

The finance minister wrote he was asking the PIC to provide him with the information, and undergo the audit, for "transparency purposes in the public trust".

"Any form of uncertainty in the PIC would further destabilise the economy," he wrote.

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