Corruption case against ex-PIC boss Dan Matjila still open, inquiry hears

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A corruption case against former Public Investment Corporation CEO Dan Matjila is still open, according to evidence heard by the judicial commission of inquiry into the state-run asset manager on Tuesday. 

Simphiwe Mayisela, the corporation's former senior manager of IT security, testified on Tuesday about the case he opened in 2017 in the wake of anonymous allegations of corruption against Matjila circulated by email.

The anonymous emails, said Mayisela, claimed that Matjila channeled funds to a company linked to a woman referred to as his girlfriend.

Matjila, who in the past denied any wrongdoing, resigned in late November 2018. 

In his evidence on Tuesday, Mayisela said the reason for opening the case was to get a subpoena to identify the sender of the email and “not a corruption case targeting the CEO”.

Mayisela told the inquiry that a police investigation into the matter was still open. He did not inform the PIC about the case he had opened.

This was later listed as one of his transgressions, in addition to possession of confidential information and intercepting Matjila’s emails.

Mayisela rejected the allegation of interception as “spurious”.

He was eventually dismissed from the PIC in June 2018 for possession of confidential information, after being on suspension from November 20, 2017.

But the former IT head said he was still receiving documents relating to PIC transactions from people inside the company. 

He declined to reveal his sources, only saying he routinely handed over the documents to the police, who “happily” accepted them.

Asked by the assistant commissioner if he had any idea who might be behind the "James Noko" moniker - the name used by the sender of emails containing allegations of corruption against PIC executives - Mayisela said he would reserve his comment.

He later added: “I am not James Noko.”

Mayisela broke down as he described the circumstances around his dismissal, which he referred to as a “witch-hunt exercise, with a clear concerted effort to deflect attention away from the main allegations levelled against the CEO.”

The inquiry will resume on Wednesday.

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