PIC board clears Matjila of wrongdoing, slams 'distasteful' media reports

PIC CEO Daniel Matjila.
PIC CEO Daniel Matjila.

Cape Town - Meeting on Friday for its third special sitting this month, the board of state pension company the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) has cleared its CEO Daniel Matjila of any wrongdoing. 

The PIC, which has almost R1.9trn in assets, handles pension funds for South African government workers, including nurses and teachers. 

In a joint statement, the board said that allegations of corruption against Matjila were “baseless”.

“The Board fully applied its mind to the report presented by (the) internal audit (committee) and confirms its satisfaction with the report. The Board has concluded that the allegations were baseless and that Dr Matjila is cleared of any wrongdoing,” it said. 

The statement did not state what allegations were being probed, but they are understood to relate to claims that Matjila misused funds to help a friend. The board has previously only referred to “allegations levelled against him through the media’. 

On September 14 The Star newspaper reported that deputy PIC chairperson Xolani Mkhwanazi had written to Matjila asking him to answer to allegations of corruption contained on a "Gupta-linked website".

Matjila referred to allegations as “spurious”. 

Sunday Times

On Sunday Matjila was quoted in an interview in the Sunday Times as saying that certain people “wanted the keys to the PIC”, and were lobbying to dismiss him.

But on Tuesday Matjila walked the comments back, and dismissed the Sunday Times interview as inaccurate after a marathon meeting with Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba about funds for SAA. 

In Friday’s statement, the PIC board said that Matjila “denied the statements that have been attributed to him in that article”.

“He completely distances himself from spurious insinuations against the Minister of Finance, Chairperson and the Deputy Chairperson of the PIC Board as contained in the article," it read.

"The CEO finds the article distasteful as it creates an impression that he is at loggerheads with the PIC shareholder representative, who is the Minister of Finance, the Chairperson of the PIC Board who is the Deputy Minister of Finance, the Deputy Chairperson of the PIC Board and other stakeholders.”

The statement did not explain how the comments came to be attributed to Matjila, or say whether he would take up the matter with the Press Ombudsman. 

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