Holomisa: Matjila must be suspended for the sake of the PIC inquiry's credibility

2018-10-18 22:13
PIC CEO Dan Matjila. (Photo: Gallo Images)

PIC CEO Dan Matjila. (Photo: Gallo Images)

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UDM leader Bantu Holomisa has called for the suspension of the Public Investment Corporation's (PIC) CEO Dan Matjila following a decision by President Cyril Ramaphosa to institute a commission of inquiry into the veracity of allegations of impropriety at the state-owned asset manager.

This was gazetted, along with its terms of reference, on Wednesday.

The commission will be headed by former president of the Supreme Court of Appeal Justice Lex Mpati, who will be assisted by former South African Reserve Bank governor Gill Marcus and well-known businessman Emmanuel Lediga. 

READ: Ramaphosa reveals terms of reference into PIC probe

The inquiry, which was initially announced by Treasury in August, will focus on investment decisions by the PIC between 2017 and 2018 and whether any resulted from ineffective governance or functioning by the PIC board.

The company manages close to R2 trillion in assets, including government employee pensions.

Holomisa, who has been making calls for the PIC to be investigated, welcomed the news and reiterated his calls for Matjila to go.

"The inquiry itself will not have credible results if the CEO continues to stay in the office, already he has started parallel processes undermining what President Cyril Ramaphosa and [Nhlanhla] Nene were saying," said Holomisa.

The UDM leader accused Matjila of "harassing people whom he alleged to have leaked information".

The embattled CEO, who was accused of corruption and channelling funds towards a woman alleged to be his girlfriend, was cleared following a probe ordered by former finance minister Nene.  

Nene blamed for delays

The announcement also comes less than two weeks after Nene stepped down as the finance minister following an admission during the commission of inquiry into state capture that he lied about meetings he held with the controversial Gupta family while serving as deputy minister and during the start of his first tenure as finance minister. 

Holomisa said the commission was long overdue, blaming the former minister for delaying the it.

"We welcome it and at least it looks as though Nene was deliberately stalling on this issue, he has been saying it's in the pipeline but when he left these guys moved swiftly," said Holomisa.

He described the terms of reference as "good" and "broad", but insisting yet again that Matjila would get in the way of a proper investigation taking place.

"We are just reminding the government not to forget about the things it should do and know. It's standard practice that when you have prima facie evidence, which needs you to take a decision to institute a judicial commission of inquiry against the decision by the CEO and the board, surely those people cannot continue to occupy their offices while the inquiry is taking place," said Holomisa.

Holomisa implied that, beyond intimidation and pressuring witnesses, there was a real possibility that Matjila would not willingly hand over information when it was required by the commission.

"This inquiry, if they want minutes of anything, they are still going to ask them from Matjila, if they want file X, they will have to ask Matjila, bank certificate of all these transactions, they will have to speak to him," he explained.

The UDM leader also expressed his keenness to testify should he be called up to do so.

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Read more on:    udm  |  pic  |  bantu holomisa  |  dan matjila

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