A former Public Investment Corporation (PIC) CEO allegedly could have “personally benefited” from VBS Mutual Bank money to the tune of nearly R7.5 million.
This is contained in a letter, dated today, July 8, by UDM leader Bantu Holomisa addressed to the PIC Inquiry evidence leader Jannie Lubbe.
Holomisa alleged Daniel Matjila, the former PIC CEO who left the corporation in November last year, got a R2.5 million personal loan from VBS but he didn’t declare this loan.
VBS was placed into curatorship in March last year and, in November last year, the North Gauteng High Court issued a final order to liquidate the bank.
Advocate Terry Motau compiled a report, The Great Bank Heist, after a probe into the affairs of VBS. This report found that nearly R2 billion was stolen from the bank. The South African Reserve Bank released the report to the public in October 2018.
“As we all know, Advocate Terry Motau’s report revealed that a cash sum of R5 million was apparently ‘stolen’ from VBS Mutual Bank, allegedly to bribe Dr Matjila to obtain his cooperation in facilitating the funding of VBS Mutual Banks’ requirements by the PIC. Famously, the money was reportedly carried by helicopter from Makhado to Lanseria Airport,” Holomisa wrote.
“If the alleged report is anything to go by, one could argue that Dr Matjila had personally benefited from nearly R7.5 million of VBS Mutual Bank money,” Holomisa continued.
Matjila appeared at the inquiry in Pretoria for the first time today to begin his testimony.
When asked about the contents of Holomisa’s letter, the advocate representing Matjila said: “We don’t know anything about that.”
The failure to disclose the R2.5 million VBS loan “may constitute a conflict of interest and even possible criminal conduct”, Holomisa wrote.
The UDM leader quoted from an alleged forensic review report commissioned by the PIC board and produced by Nexus Forensic Services.
Holomisa said he had received an e-mail from Lubbe on July 6 where Lubbe informed Holomisa, according to the rules of the PIC Inquiry, that he might be implicated in evidence to be submitted by Matjila.
According to the alleged report, Matjila, as well as the PIC’s former chief risk officer, Paul Magula, and the PIC head of legal, Ernest Nesane, received loans from VBS.
Magula and Nesane previously sat on the VBS board. Prior to the bank’s downfall the PIC held a 25% stake in VBS.
“The term of Dr Matjila’s loan is alleged to be a 30-year period, which raises the questions where: (a) the loan was extended at arm’s length and (b) such a lengthy repayment period was standard for VBS Mutual Bank,” Holomisa wrote.
“In terms of the conditions of the loan, it is allegedly unclear whether the loan was intended to ever be repaid, or whether it is/was in fact being repaid. The only way to establish the veracity of this allegation is to scrutinise the dates of disbursement and repayment,” Holomisa wrote.
If there was any truth in these allegations, it raised serious concerns about Motau’s report, Holomisa said.
“Why did Advocate Motau’s report omit Dr Matjila’s alleged loan, especially given his position as [former] PIC CEO,” he wrote.
“Why did Advocate Motau’s report exclusively focus on Magula and Nesane? Common sense would dictate that Advocate Motau would have declared Dr Matjila’s alleged loan even if no wrongdoing was apparent.”
“The alleged report apparently states that Dr Matjila holds 10 directorships, but according to the whistle-blower, about two have not been disclosed as required,” Holomisa said.
“Nexus Forensic Services’ alleged report apparently recommended that the PIC board should pursue criminal investigation. If that is true, the question is what has the board done about this recommendation and if nothing, why?”
“I wanted to establish whether the commission is aware of this alleged report and if not, could the commission make an enquiry into obtaining the said report to assist in its investigation,” Holomisa said.
The PIC Inquiry continues.