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Matjila: I did not abuse my power at the PIC

 

 

Dan Matjila has suggested that the next chief executive of the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) should be accompanied by a senior official of the company to any meeting with a member of the Cabinet.

Matjila made this submission at the Mpati commission on Tuesday where he is providing his testimony regarding his alleged role in alleged impropriety at Africa’s largest state asset manager.

The PIC manages around R2-trillion in funds, the bulk of which comes from the Government Employees Pension Fund.

Continuing with the narrative that he was under political pressure at the PIC, Matjila told the commission that former minister of intelligence, David Mahlobo requested a meeting with him at OR Tambo International Airport where he was requested to assist in funding Pretty Louw’s personal debt. Matjila admitted that he forwarded the request to PIC beneficiary, Lawrence Mulaudzi.

READ MORE: Leaked WhatsApps: How access to PIC execs may have facilitated deals

Mulaudzi told the commission in March that he paid R300 000 to Louw after being pressured by Matjia.

“With hindsight do you also think that the next CEO should go to meet politicians with no agenda? Do you think that it should continue, asked commission’s assistant, Emmauel Lediga?

“The better strategy would be to request an agenda and know the nature of the meeting,” Matjila responded. “If it’s a meeting in official capacity it must be handled differently. It may be hard to police it really depends on people’s behaviour,” he says.

READ MORE: Matjila — Mulaudzi misled PIC commission on KiliCap, Sakhumnotho merger

The commission also heard how Sakhumnotho chairman, Sipho Mseleku informed Matjila that he had paid R1-million to the ANC to fund the party’s January 8 celebrations. This was after Matjila approached various PIC beneficiaries, including director of Kilimanjaro Capital (KiliCap), Lawrence Mulaudzi to fund the party’s birthday celebrations in 2017 as per the request of the organisation’s then treasurer-general and current health minister, Zweli Mkhize.

READ MORE: Matjila grilled on merger between KiliCap and Sakhumnotho at PIC commission

Both Sakhumnotho and KiliCap received R1.8-billion in funding from the PIC for a 91% stake in Total SA.

Mkhize has since denied the allegations that he ever asked Matjila for funding for the ANC.

Asked by evidence leader, advocate Jannie Lubbe whether or not it is appropriate for the CEO of the PIC to make such requests to companies that had received funding from the state asset manager, Matjila replied saying that he “was just responding to a request”.

“”I was not forcing them. We didn’t have a policy to say that says I can’t relay requests of certain individuals to people who can assist them,” he says.

The commission continues. It has until July 31 2019 to complete his work.

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

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