PIC inquiry: Lifestyle audit finds no criminal conduct by ex-head Dan Matjila

A lifestyle audit conducted by PwC into five former officials at state-owned asset manager the Public Investment Corporation - including its ex-CEO Dan Matjila and former board chair Mondli Gungubele - found no evidence of criminal conduct. 

The commission of inquiry into the PIC, chaired by Justice Lex Mpati, was briefed by evidence leader Advocate Jannie Lubbe on the outcomes of PwC's audit on Tuesday. The audit has previously been referred to in hearings, but Tuesday was the first time its results were presented to the commission. 

The PIC, which invests on behalf of the government employees, manages about R2.2trn in funds. commission of inquiry has been investigating allegations of corruption and governance failures at the PIC.

As the commisison previously heard, anonymous emails by a whistleblower using the name James Nogu had implicated Matjila in alleged wrongdoing.  Matjila, who on Monday wrapped up 12 consecutive days of testimony, has denied any wrongdoing. A report into the allegations contained in the emails, by Advocate Geoff Budlender, found it was "clear from the content of the e-mails" that the author was either employed at the PIC or "had contacts and sources of information within the PIC". 

As a result of the allegations contained in the emails and other claims of wrongdoing, PwC was asked to conducted the lifestyle audit and do background checks Matjila, Gungubele, former board members Sibusiswe Zulu and Dudu Hlatshwayo, and former chief financial officer Matshepo More. They all cooperated in the investigation voluntarily, Lubbe said.

"In general, the finding was no indication of any criminal conduct regarding any individuals," Lubbe said. "There was no evidence substantiating the implications by Nogu and the emails," he added.

While an affidavit by PwC will be made available on the commission's website, Mpati is yet to rule on whether the personal details of the individuals contained in the PwC's five reports will be made publicly available.

No sign of the real Nogu

When asked by Mpati for an update on the status of the investigation into the identity of the author of the James Nogu emails, Lubbe said there had been "no positive outcome".

"The investigation is now with the sixth investigator, with little hope that anything will come of it," he said. Lubbe agreed to have a statement written up on the investigation into Nogu's identity, which would also indicate what processes have been followed and what the challenges have been.

Lubbe also provided an update on an investigation by the Hawks into death threats he and witnesses, including Matjila, had received. The source of the threats could not be found, he said.

The commission will resume hearing testimony at 13:30 on Tuesday, with evidence from former board member Sibusisiwe Zulu.

Businessman Lawrence Mulaudzi, who appeared before the commission in March, admitted he was in a "love relationship" with Zulu. According to allegations contained in the James Nogu emails, Mulaudzi had clinched deals from the PIC because of his relationship with Zulu.

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