Nhlanhla Nene establishes full inquiry into embattled PIC

Dan Matjila Chief Executive Officer for the Public Investment Corporation (PIC).
Dan Matjila Chief Executive Officer for the Public Investment Corporation (PIC).
Image: James Oatway/Sunday Times

Minister of finance Nhlanhla Nene has announced an investigation into the Public Investment Corporation (PIC)‚ which invests R2-trillion of mostly government pension funds.

He met with the board of PIC on Wednesday.

In a statement‚ the minister said there would be a forensic investigation into some of the fund's leaders – a suggestion that chair Dan Matjila may have to answer the allegations piling up against him.

The ministry of finance announced: - The institution of an independent inquiry into the affairs of the PIC; and

- A directive to the board of the PIC to commission a proper forensic investigation into the allegations against certain PIC executives.

The ministry of finance “further details on the independent inquiry‚ including the name of its head as well as its terms of reference‚ will be announced in due course.”

The independence of PIC chairman Matjila has been called into question and he is to hear by the end of the week if he still has a job.

Business Day previously reported that UDM leader Bantu Holomisa asked the Pretoria High Court in July to have Matjila suspended over allegations that he acted improperly by awarding a R21-million loan to a company that was linked to his alleged girlfriend‚ Pretty Louw.

He also is accused of asking a company in which the PIC had invested to settle a R300 000 personal debt of Louw. Matjila has denied the relationship.

The PIC is the main investor of government pension funds.

It has been embroiled in multiple scandals raising concerns about government workers retirement savings.

In recent weeks‚ it emerged that PIC senior executives were allegedly paid bribes to invest in VBS Bank‚ with R1.5-billion from the collapsed bank now missing

The two executives ensured the PIC took a 25% stake in VBS.

The head of legal counsel‚ governance and compliance Ernest Nesana had resigned in response to the scandal. Earlier this year‚ manager Paul Magula was fired for “poor performance”.

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