Matjila didn’t tell me about Ayo deal, More alleges

The commision of inquiry into impropriety at the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) heard on Tuesday how the asset manager’s former chief executive, Dan Matjila, did not inform suspended acting CEO, Matshepo More of the R4.3-billion transaction between the PIC and Ayo Technology Solutions

More told the commission that she was left in the dark by Matjila prior to the transaction being signed.

The controversial Ayo deal was concluded in 2017 when the PIC took a 29% stake in the ICT company at R43 a share. Ayo’s share price had fallen to R9 at the close of markets on Tuesday.

More was chief financial officer at the time of the transaction while Matjila was the CEO. She was placed on a precautionary suspension in March after being accused of interfering in the work of the commission chaired by Justice Lex Mpati. 

READ MORE: Suspended acting CEO denies victimising PIC staff

Matjila resigned last November.


More told the Mpati commission she signed off on a “disbursement memo” on December 19 2017, signalling the availability of funds for the transaction. She said at the time the PIC’s main bank account had funds in excess of R5-billion.

She however denied that her signature on the document was for the approval of the transaction but that it was rather to “confirm the availability of funds”.

READ MORE: I had no role in PIC’s Ayo investment says suspended acting CEO

More said she signed the memo when it was first presented to her because she believed that it had already been approved through a “round robin” resolution by the asset manager’s portfolio management committee (PMC).

“This is because on December 15 2017, at 14:35, the office of the company secretary sent the members (including permanent invitees) of the PMC an email requesting them to peruse the documents and indicate whether they approved or not through a round robin resolution,” she said.

Mpati wanted to know whether More took action when she realised that Matjila had known about the transaction and had not informed her about it. More responded saying that she had not confronted Matjila about the deal despite being the second most senior executive at the PIC.

“I do agree with you that the non-disclosure on December 20, even the non-disclosure to myself signing the memo on December 19 was misrepresentation on the part of Dr Dan Matjila,” she testified.

READ MORE: Court victory for Ayo in PIC R4.3bn repayment case

Asked by Mpati how the PIC could avoid the flouting of investment procedure in the future, More suggested that the scope of assurance providers should be widened to ensure that all due diligence is followed before signing off on agreements.

Thando Maeko is an Adamela Trust business reporter at the Mail & Guardian.

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Thando Maeko
Thando Maeko is an Adamela Trust business reporter at the Mail & Guardian

Related stories

Ace pulls diplomatic strings for Steinhoff-linked pal

If the ANC general secretary has his way, Ithala chair Roshan Morar could soon be an ambassador

Out of our Wits: Should more be done to block club sales?

South African football is in an awkward position where it dare not refuse investment … no matter the cost

An emergency budget needs bold decisions, including a bigger public sector

Choosing this path would create work for many while also building the infrastructure that the country needs

Ayo report: CFO acted in the PIC’s interests

A disciplinary inquiry has cleared Matshepo More of all charges, but she remains suspended

PIC commission – Matjila acted improperly in Ayo deal

The report by the commission that investigated the Public Investment Corporation says the fund manager’s former CEO lied about his involvement in its R4,3-billion investment in Iqbal Surve’s Ayo Technology

Dan Matjila’s grand plans to save Eskom

The former PIC chief muses over PIC debt-for-equity, privatisation and selling off power stations
Advertising

Subscribers only

FNB dragged into bribery claims

Allegations of bribery against the bank’s chief executive, Jacques Celliers, thrown up in a separate court case

Dozens of birds and bats perish in extreme heat in...

In a single day, temperatures in northern KwaZulu-Natal climbed to a lethal 45°C, causing a mass die-off of birds and bats

More top stories

This is how the SIU catches crooks

Athandiwe Saba talked to the Special Investigating Unit’s Andy Mothibi about its caseload, including 1 000 Covid contracts

Richard Calland: Not much has shuffled in the political pack

Stocktake at the end of a momentous year shows that the ruling party holds all the cards but has little room for manoeuvre

Tighter Covid restrictions for N. Mandela Bay — other hotspots...

With the number of cases spiralling out of control in hotspots in the Eastern Cape and Western Cape, longer curfews and restrictions on alcohol sales are being implemented

Excess deaths rise, starting in Covid hotspot Eastern Cape

As the pandemic’s second wave spreads through the country, the number of excess deaths increases too
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…