Kganyago calls in Hawks to probe his 'billions'

SA Reserve Bank governor Lesetja Kganyago ((Lisa Hnatowicz)
SA Reserve Bank governor Lesetja Kganyago ((Lisa Hnatowicz)

SA Reserve Bank governor Lesetja Kganyago lodged a complaint with the Hawks last month after a major market data provider claimed he owned a multibillion-rand share portfolio, including shares in Capitec bank.

The data provider, Australia-based Iress, delivers a variety of stock market-related information to subscribers, including shareholdings of JSE-listed companies.

Until this week, its system showed that Kganyago owned a share portfolio worth billions of rands, including investments that would be unlawful and controversial for a SARB governor.

SARB spokesperson Jabulani Sikhakhane told City Press that a member of the public brought the matter to their attention earlier in the year.

“SARB assessed the information and further confirmed that it was false.

“It was only then that the SARB engaged with the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (the Hawks) and formally lodged a complaint on Friday, February 23.

“The false listing on Iress of the governor as a shareholder in a number of listed companies is therefore being investigated by the Hawks,” said Sikhakhane.

SARB policy prohibits any of the bank’s officials from owning shares in a bank.

The Iress data, however, showed that Kganyago owned almost 500 000 shares in Capitec, worth close to R445 million.

It likewise showed him owning chunks of several other companies.

Iress told City Press that it was a simple glitch, which has been fixed.

The portfolio ascribed to Kganyago is in fact owned by a Rand Merchant Bank fund.

Despite SARB’s complaint to the Hawks, Iress spokesperson Coran Lill said they were unaware of the issue prior to City Press raising it.

“On learning of the error, we immediately corrected it and we have taken steps to ensure this does not happen again.

“We have contacted Mr Kganyago’s office to apologise for this error and for any confusion caused.

“What occurred, as a result of human error, is that our identifier for Mr Lesetja Kganyago’s holdings from the public register was identical to our identifier for a large financial institution’s holdings from the public register.”

After the correction, Iress data shows that Kganyago’s share portfolio consists of a mere R133 000 invested exclusively in Astoria Investments, a company that gives shareholders exposure to a variety of companies abroad.

“Governor Kganyago’s investment portfolio is managed by a third party in line with SARB policy. The governor has no say in the choice of investments,” said Sikhakhane.

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