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Holomisa claims Matjila failed to declare millions received from VBS

The Public Investment Corporation’s (PIC) former chief executive Dan Matjila should be investigated over allegations he did not declare the millions of rands he received from VBS Mutual Bank, says United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader Bantu Holomisa.

Holomisa told the commission looking into alleged impropriety at the PIC — which is headed by Justice Lex Mpati — he has been presented with evidence regarding funds from the now defunct mutual bank.

In a letter to advocate Jannie Lubbe, the PIC commission’s evidence leader, Holomisa alleged that he has received a forensic report by Nexus Forensic Services detailing loans awarded to Matjila and the PIC’s former chief risk officer, Paul Magula and head of legal Ernest Nesane from VBS.

The correspondence comes as Matjila presents his side of the story about a slew of suspicious transactions by the PIC before the Mpati commission.

On Monday, Matjila shot down allegations made Holomisa that there is a clear conflict of interest between “a network of select” individuals that are connected to Matjila or the PIC and who have also received funding from PIC.

During his earlier testimony before the commission in March, Holomisa asked the commission to scrutinise the corporation’s unlisted portfolio for any wrongdoing. He mentioned — among others things — the PIC’s investment into Lebashe Investment Group which has former deputy finance minister, Jabu Moleketi as one of its non-executive directors.

Moleketi was the PIC’s chairperson from 2004 to 2008.

In the letter sent to the commission, Holomisa said that the report shows that Matjila was awarded a loan of nearly R2.5-million from VBS with a repayment period of 30 years. The UDM leader says that the undeclared loans by Matjila could constitute “ a conflict of interest and even possible criminal conduct” by the former CEO.

“In terms of the conditions of the loan, it is allegedly unclear whether the loan was intended to ever be repaid, or whether it is/was in fact being repaid. The only way to establish the veracity of this allegation is to scrutinise the dates of disbursement and repayment,” Holomisa’s letter reads.

Holomisa further goes on to question why the alleged funds received by Matjila and other senior PIC officials was omitted by advocate Terry Motau’s report into looting at VBS especially since Matjila was the CEO of the PIC.

“If the alleged report is anything to go by, one could argue that Dr Matjila had personally benefited from nearly R7.5-million of VBS Mutual Bank money,” Holomisa says.

Earlier this year, associate principal at the PIC, Brendah Mdluli told the commission looking into impropriety at the state asset manager that there it was unlikely that the PIC would recover the R350-million loan given to VBS in 2015.

In December, the PIC board said that it would be pursuing criminal charges against Magula and Nesane for failing to report on questionable transactions at VBS.

The commission continues. 

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

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