COVER-UP

Se­nior em­ployee breaks si­lence on how the reg­u­la­tory agency was al­legedly ‘ grossly neg­li­gent’ when clos­ing or­phaned pen­sion funds

CityPress - - Business - SU­SAN COM­RIE and DE­WALD VAN RENS­BURG busi­ness@city­press.co.za

‘Un­law­ful” and “grossly neg­li­gent” – that’s how a se­nior ex­ec­u­tive of the Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices Board (FSB) has de­scribed her own or­gan­i­sa­tion’s be­hav­iour in clos­ing thou­sands of “or­phaned” pen­sion

Dube Tshidi, the reg­is­trar of pen­sion funds, has called Hunter’s cam­paign a “the­o­ret­i­cal, le­gal-tech­ni­cal and fu­tile ex­er­cise”.

In a sub­mis­sion to Jus­tice O’Re­gan, he said the ex­pe­dited process had been “sen­si­ble, prag­matic and some­what ro­bust”.

In­stead of the in­dus­try gain­ing from the process, Tshidi claims they aided the FSB at “sig­nif­i­cant cost” to them­selves.

De­spite this, Hunter claims Tshidi and the FSB board un­der­mined her at­tempts to in­ves­ti­gate the is­sue.

“Al­though all of my con­duct in re­la­tion to the cancellations pro­ject was in­tended to en­sure com­pli­ance ... it was met with con­sid­er­able re­sis­tance,” she states in her court pa­pers.

Hunter’s ac­cu­sa­tion – which the FSB has not had a chance to an­swer – is that the FSB is try­ing to bury the find­ings of the two re­ports, as well as her own in­ter­nal re­ports. Marele re­sponded: “The in­ves­ti­ga­tion is not yet com­plete, but a pre­lim­i­nary re­port from Jus­tice O’Re­gan is avail­able to all par­ties con­cerned, in­clud­ing Ms Hunter, with the pro­viso that they sign con­fi­den­tial­ity agree­ments.”

Hunter has been called to dis­ci­plinary hear­ings, and was at one point of­fered a R6 mil­lion “golden hand­shake” to leave qui­etly.

In ad­di­tion to this, Hunter claims that at a board meet­ing on Oc­to­ber 14 2015, she was ac­cused of be­ing “di­vi­sive” and was “cau­tioned against mak­ing any pub­lic dis­clo­sures of de­fects in the con­duct of the cancellations pro­ject lest this re­sult in a ‘run’ on pen­sion funds and a risk to the fi­nan­cial sta­bil­ity of their banks” – a risk that she dis­misses.

On Fri­day, the FSB con­firmed that it would op­pose Hunter’s ap­pli­ca­tion.

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