Guptas linked to attempt to remove PIC boss Matjila
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.”