Wednesday marked the seventh day of former Public Investment Corporation (PIC) chief executive Dan Matjila’s testimony at the commission looking into alleged impropriety at the state asset manager.
Matjila has denied allegations made by a variety of witnesses who flagged him in questionable deals between the PIC and various companies including Ascendis Health, S&S Refinery, Steinhoff and Lancaster.
On Wednesday, Matjila continued denying any wrongdoing, this time in the transaction between the PIC and mortgage finance company, SA Home Loans.
In May, the commission heard from two PIC senior executives, Benedict Mongalo, the PIC’s fund principal in impact investing and the company’s head of impact investing, Roy Rajdhar.
The pair detailed a lawsuit relating to a R45-million transaction fee between the PIC and SA Home Loans. The deal provided home financing for members of the Government Employees Pension fund (GEPF).
According to Rajdhar, businessperson Kholofelo Maponya, a shareholder at SA Home Loans through his company Matome Maponya Investments (MMI), is suing the PIC for R45-million in transaction fees in relation to a R9-billion loan that the state asset manager made to SA Home Loans as per an agreement with Matjila.
“There is no way I could have agreed to this sort of arrangement and did not do so,” Matjila told the commission on Wednesday.
Matjila recounted how the PIC transaction between SA Home Loans came about, saying that it was SA Home Loans and financial services company JP Morgan that presented an equity opportunity for housing finance for GEPF members. He said, however, the PIC did not conclude the deal because the transaction did not have a BEE partner.
Matjila said that it was only when MMI came into the picture with SA Home Loans that the PIC agreed to the deal. “MMI’s strategy would be a good fit for what the PIC was pursuing on behalf of the GEPF.”
According to Matjila, SA Home Loans then approached the PIC seeking credit for R9-billion for end user finance for GEPF members. He says he was under the impression that funding plan was a joint plan of SA Home Loans and MMI.
Matjila says events took a turn for the worse after Maponya, on behalf of MMI, demanded payment of 0.5% as an arranging and underwriting fee from the PIC.
“Mr Maponya became a serious thorn in the flesh of the PIC and me personally in his misinformed but aggressive attempts to get paid,” he testified.
“He would send threatening text messages and calls demanding payment, I told my colleagues that we were under no obligation to pay MMI any fees and that if there were any monies to be paid to MMI that was a matter between MMI and SA Home Loans,” Matjila said.
The inquiry continues.