Financial Mail - - EDITORIALS -

In a re­cent edi­to­rial, the Fi­nan­cial Mail warned: “Watch what Gi­gaba does, not what he says.” The fi­nance min­is­ter’s in­struc­tion last week that the Pub­lic In­vest­ment Corp (PIC) board, chaired by his deputy, must con­duct a foren­sic in­ves­ti­ga­tion into “any con­cerns” of ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties is noth­ing but a con­tin­u­a­tion of Malusi Gi­gaba’s fish­ing ex­pe­di­tion to find a way to get rid of PIC CEO Daniel Matjila and key mem­bers of the ex­ec­u­tive.

With that in­struc­tion, Gi­gaba has re­moved any doubt that he did not be­lieve him­self when he said he had “absolute con­fi­dence in Matjila’s in­tegrity and staff of the PIC” on Septem­ber 26. Just a week later he was de­mand­ing an in­ves­ti­ga­tion. But the PIC board had al­ready in­sti­tuted an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Matjila on Septem­ber 15, and cleared him 14 days later.

In his in­struc­tion to PIC chair­man

Sfiso Buthelezi (seen by the Fi­nan­cial Mail), Gi­gaba con­cedes: “The PIC is among the best per­form­ing pub­lic en­ti­ties with a good track record and it con­trib­utes sig­nif­i­cantly to the econ­omy. Any form of un­cer­tainty in the PIC would fur­ther desta­bilise the econ­omy.”

About that he is cor­rect. But the PIC has been a paragon of virtue pre­cisely be­cause pre­vi­ous fi­nance min­is­ters were peo­ple of in­tegrity. That has changed.

Wher­ever Gi­gaba has been, en­ti­ties un­der his con­trol have col­lapsed. The PIC will be no dif­fer­ent.

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