Cape Town – The Public Servants' Association (PSA) has leaped to the defence of Public Investment Corporation (PIC) CEO Dan Matjila, condemning what they call a "political stranglehold" on the PIC.
In a statement, Tahir Maepa deputy general manager of the PSA said new investments and the tenure of politicians at the PIC board including that of Deputy Finance Minister Mondli Gungubele, should be put on ice until issues at the continent's largest asset manager are resolved.
The PSA is the largest single union in the public service.
This comes after the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria ordered Holomisa to stop making claims of corruption against Matjila, including that Matjila benefited from dubious funding of state utilities by the PIC.
In addition, Holomisa had called on Minister of Finance Nhlanhla Nene to discipline Matjila, which Nene opposed, citing existing probes in the PIC.
"The PSA condemns the political stranglehold on the PIC and demands the removal of all politicians from the PIC, including the deputy minister of finance, and the freezing of all investments pending the appointment of union representatives on the PIC board," said Maepa.
Maepa said the union had been speaking to the PIC about what it called "questionable processes and investments by the corporation" which may have affected public servants’ pension investments.
Maepa claimed the PSA had reason to believe there was "political interference" behind attempts to suspend Matjila.
"It is because of these concerns that the PSA, as a union that supports transparency and integrity in support of rooting out corruption, wants to rid the PIC of political interference," he said.
He added that the PIC board cleared Matjila of allegations that he acted improperly by awarding a loan to a company linked to a close associate.
"The PSA agrees with Minister Nene that no sufficient evidence has been produced to review the decision of the current board…The need to resurrect those allegations seems suspicious, linked to a need to replace Dr Matjila with someone who is 'friendlier' to the current politician at the helm of PIC board," said Maepa.