Matjila: Leaks from the PIC ‘an inside job’

 

 

The commission probing alleged impropriety at the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) has heard how the state asset manager does not have adequate measures in place to ensure that its confidential information is not distributed to third parties.

On Tuesday former PIC chief executive, Dan Matjila continued to deny the alleged “reign of terror” at the company during his tenure at its helm. Matjila denied that he instituted a witch hunt at the PIC following the circulation of the infamous “James Nogu” emails first distributed to PIC staff in September 2017.

The emails suggested, among other things, that Matjila used PIC funds to conduct questionable deals, including an investment in the business of his alleged lover, Pretty Louw. Matjila has denied these allegations and was cleared of funneling funds to Louw by a report penned by Geoff Budlender SC.

“I treat all my colleagues with respect even when I am extremely angry!” said Matjila.

Matjila says that the leaks of various transactions by the PIC, including Ayo Technology Solutions and Lancaster, were clearly an inside job. He suggested that former head of IT at the PIC, Vuyokazi Menye and her second in command, Siphiwe Mayisela may have been behind the leaks and the distribution of the company’s confidential emails.

He detailed an incident in July 2017 where Menye and her team conducted an overhaul of the PIC’s servers “without any supervision and without the knowledge of the executives.” Matjila says a second “Nogu” email arrived two months after the work had been done on the PIC’s servers by the IT department.

This time the email dealt with Mobile Satellite Technologies’ (MST) application to be funded by the PIC. The details of the application would only be stored on the PIC’s server. According to Matjila, Nogu’s knowledge of the deal reveals that the leaks were an inside job.

Matjila said the leaks were not in accordance with the Protected Disclosures Act.

“I have a view who James Nogu could be. It’s almost like there’s a person who information is fed to then they write these stories because they have a nice, secure platform to be able to discharge all this information to everyone including social media,” he said.

Matjila also shot down Menye’s testimony to the commission when she alleged the former PIC boss told her that he “owns” the PIC and therefore has the right to enquire about who was privy to the company’s confidential IT information.

READ MORE: Matjila on a witch-hunt

“This is a statement she made to cause sensation calculated to discredit me and damage my reputation,” he said.

Menye and Mayisela, who has also appeared at the commission, have both been dismissed from the PIC following the investigation. Mayisela was charged with failing to disclose that he had opened a case of corruption against Matjila.

The inquiry continues. 

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

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