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PIC Commission meets deadline to submit final report to Ramaphosa

Dec 18 2019 15:30
Lameez Omarjee

The judicial commission of inquiry into state-run asset manager the Public Investment Corporation has handed over its final report to President Cyril Ramaphosa, a spokesperson confirmed.

Ramaphosa appointed the commission in October 2018 to investigate allegations of irregularities at the asset manager regarding investments which did not yield desired returns. 

Speaking to Fin24 by phone on Wednesday, commission secretary Advocate Phuti Setati said the December 15 deadline to submit the report had been met. The report has not been made public yet. 

According to the commission's terms of reference, it must make findings and recommendations on a number of matters, including whether

  • PIC investment decisions broke any laws or internal policies;
  • any PIC director or employee unduly benefited from investment decisions;
  • internal whistle-blower protections were disregarded;
  • board minutes were correctly reflected;
  • confidential information was leaked to third parties;
  • any PIC leader victimised employees; 
  • the PIC's current operating model is efficient. 

The commission, chaired by Justice Lex Mpati, concluded eight months of public hearings into the PIC in August. The corporation invests on behalf of the Government Employee Pension Fund, and manages around R2.1trn in assets

The commission's probe of the asset manager's quality of internal governance and decision-making processes was initially set to be wrapped up in mid-April. But Ramaphosa granted the inquiry three extensions with a final deadline of December 15.

Over the course of public hearings, the commission heard from 77 witnesses, including the former head of the PIC, Dan Matjila, who was alleged to have been implicated in a number of questionable transactions. Other notable witnesses included Iqbal Survé, the executive head of investment holding company Sekunjalo and UDM leader Bantu Holomisa. 

Since the hearings began, the PIC has dismissed an assistant portfolio manager, Victor Seanie, who was involved in a R4.3bn investment in AYO Technology Solutions. Seanie has said he will challenge the dismissal to clear his name, as he believes he is the fall guy for executives higher up than him who made the final call on the investment - namely former CEO Matjila and former head of listed investments Fidelis Madavo, Fin24 previously reported.

The PIC is also litigating against AYO to claw back its R4.3bn investment with interest.  The court matter has not yet been heard. AYO is opposing the matter, and has denied that any of the asset manager's funds are at risk

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