I did not spy on PIC employees, says Matjila

 

 

Former Public Investment Corporation chief executive, Dan Matjila’s time at the helm of the state asset manager has been plagued with allegations of corruption, maladministration, fear and intimidation by current and former employees at the company.

On the 8th day of his highly anticipated testimony at the PIC commission — chaired by retired Supreme Court Judge, Lex Mpati — Matjila shot down allegations that he led a “reign of terror” during his time as the PIC’s chief executive.

The commission is probing allegations of impropriety and governance failures at Africa’s largest fund manager.

Matjila says that activities at the PIC had been put under the microscope following the infamous “James Nogu” emails circulated in September 2017. The anonymous emails alleged, among under things, that Matjila had used his position as the PIC’s head to channel funds to his alleged girlfriend, Pretty Louw — something which he has consistently denied during his testimony at the commission.

Suspecting that the emails were an inside job, the former CEO instructed the then head of IT at the PIC, Simphiwe Mayisela to investigate how intricate details of various transactions conducted by the PIC, including involving Mobile Satellite Technology (MST), Ascendis Health and Tosaco ended up in the hands of the media.


Matjila says that he was motivated to investigate the leaks because “there was a clear and obvious risk to R2-trillion worth of client assets if the PIC’s systems could be compromised.”

The PIC’s internal IT team was only able to uncover that the leaks had come from a kiosk in Sandton but were unable to identify the source of the anonymous emails. Matjila then appointed an external firm, BCX to get to the heart of the leaks.

Four of the PIC’s departments, the Company Secretariat, IT, Risk and Legal were identified by Matjila and BCX as being the areas where the leaks were most likely to have originated.

Matjila said these investigations received mixed responses from those who were being investigated, with some responding immaturely. “I had no desire to spy on PIC employees,” he says.

“Why were they saying you were spying on them? Some of them were adamant that you were spying on them,” asked the commission’s assistant, Emmanuel Lediga.

“I don’t know what is the nature of the spying because really all we did was to scan email correspondence to Mimecast,” Matjila responded.

Matjila says that he and the suspended PIC chief financial officer, Matshepo More continued to be “harassed” by “Nogu” during the investigations by BCX. He says that he first learnt that he was being investigated for corruption by the Hawks following the release of the first report into the leaks by BCX which was handed over to him in late September 2017. The report showed that Mayisela, who was in charge of the PIC’s internal investigations into the leaks, had opened a case of corruption against him.

Matjila singled out Mayisela as being part of the campaign to oust him from the company.

“He [Mayisela] has continued to provide the SAPS with the PIC’s confidential information,” Matjila said. 

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

SAA bailout raises more questions

As the government continues to grapple with the troubles facing the airline, it would do well to keep on eye on the impending Denel implosion

ANC’s rogue deployees revealed

Despite 6 300 ANC cadres working in government, the party’s integrity committee has done little to deal with its accused members

More top stories

The Nigerian government is killing its citizens — again

‘Nigeria kills its people. Nigeria has always killed its people.’

Finance probe into the Ingonyama Trust Board goes ahead

The threat of legal action from ITB chairperson Jerome Ngwenya fails to halt forensic audit ordered by the land reform minister

Ailing Far East Rand hospital purchases ‘vanity’ furniture

Dr Zacharia Mathaba, who purchased the furniture, is a suspected overtime fraudster and was appointed as Gauteng hospital chief executive despite facing serious disciplinary charges

Institutions of higher learning should commemorate their casualties

The bust of Matikweni Nkuna at Tshwane University of Technology is an example of how we should honour those who fought for equal access to education
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday