Gup­tas linked to at­tempt to re­move PIC boss Matjila

Cape Argus - - FRONT PAGE - – Staff Re­porters

THE Gup­tas have al­legedly tried to take con­trol of the Pub­lic In­vest­ment Cor­po­ra­tion (PIC) – the cus­to­dian of pen­sions of pub­lic ser­vants.

It is un­der­stood that the Gup­tas are push­ing to re­place chief ex­ec­u­tive Dan Matjila with one of their as­so­ciates, a board mem­ber re­cently ap­pointed by Fi­nance Min­is­ter Malusi Gi­gaba.

Cape Ar­gus sis­ter news­pa­per, The Star, un­der­stands that the cor­po­ra­tion’s deputy chair­per­son Xolani Mkhwanazi has writ­ten to Matjila, ask­ing him to an­swer to al­leged cor­rup­tion re­ported by one of the Gup­tas’ web­sites. The al­le­ga­tions have been dis­trib­uted to board mem­bers ahead of an ur­gent meet­ing to­mor­row.

Matjila has been ac­cused of fund­ing a project linked to an al­leged lover.

Sources have said that when Matjila goes, a Gupta-ap­pointee would take over.

In­sid­ers at the Trea­sury have told In­de­pen­dent Me­dia that the Gup­tas had pre­vi­ously lob­bied Gi­gaba to ap­point dis­graced for­mer Eskom boss Brian Molefe as the PIC’s chief ex­ec­u­tive.

Matjila was aware of to­mor­row’s meet­ing. He knew about the cor­rup­tion al­le­ga­tions against him, but was un­aware of a pos­si­ble Gupta takeover. “I’m not aware of such plans but I have been asked to re­spond to these al­le­ga­tions. I have done so in writ­ing,” Matjila said.

“It will be an­other gover­nance fail­ure at a SOC. It will dis­rupt the func­tion­ing of the PIC. Civil ser­vants’ hard-earned monies will be un­der se­ri­ous risk.”

It is be­lieved that Gi­gaba was con­cerned about Matjila’s pos­si­ble re­moval and would pre­fer to re­tain him un­til next year. A Trea­sury source said Gi­gaba had blocked at­tempts to ap­point Molefe to the PIC.

The cor­po­ra­tion’s chair­per­son, Deputy Fi­nance Min­is­ter Sfiso Buthelezi, said there was no truth to plans for Matjila’s re­moval.

Deon Botha, head of cor­po­rate af­fairs for PIC, added: “Spe­cial board meet­ings are called through the di­rec­tive of the chair­man of the PIC board. We are not privy to the con­tent of the agenda of the spe­cial board meet­ing.”

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