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PIC inquiry to continue hearing evidence on business ties to former executives

Apr 15 2019 07:00
Jan Cronje

The judicial commission of inquiry into state-asset manager the Public Investment Corporation is set to continue hearing evidence on Monday about companies linked to former executives.  

After spending the past few weeks investigating the relationship between the PIC and companies in the stable of Iqbal Survé, the executive chair of Sekunjalo media, the inquiry on Wednesday called back UDM leader Bantu Holomisa for cross-examination.

Holomisa has argued that former PIC executives have easy access to funding, saying this amounts to a conflict of interest.

On Wednesday the UDM leader answered questions from a lawyer representing the Lebashe Investment Group, Harith Fund Management and Harith General Partners, as well as ex PIC chair Jabu Moleketi, ex top PIC executive Tshepo Mahloele, and Warren Wheatley.

The questioning led to testy exchanges between Daniel Berger, SC and Holomisa.

Berger put it to Holomisa that he had a pattern of defaming his clients by raising allegations of wrongdoing in the form of questions.

He also said that the claims being made by Holomisa had been answered in a 2018 court case, saying that the UDM leader had "studiously avoided placing [this evidence] before the Commission".

In July 2018 the High Court in Pretoria issued an order against Holomisa to stop making or repeating corruption allegations against Lebashe or its directors. The UDM leader has appealed the order. 

Holomisa, meanwhile, said on Wednesday that the commission was tasked with investigating transactions that "have been seemingly structured following all the rules but with corrupt intent".

He added the commission had "better tools" than the court to investigate the matter. 

Since witnesses reported receiving death threats in February, the commission had not made public who will testify. 

Monday may either see Holomisa continuing to testify, or Berger's clients taking the stand.

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