Maynier says Gi­gaba’s ac­tions with PIC ‘not cred­i­ble’

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - BALDWIN ND­ABA

FI­NANCE Min­is­ter Malusi Gi­gaba’s call to re­veal the iden­ti­ties of com­pa­nies who ben­e­fited from the Public In­vest­ment Cor­po­ra­tion (PIC) in­vest­ment deals has been met with mixed feel­ings.

Yes­ter­day, Gi­gaba ap­peared an­noyed by al­le­ga­tions of a planned plot to raid the govern­ment em­ploy­ees pen­sion fund (GEPF), man­aged by the PIC, al­legedly with the aim of bail­ing out ail­ing state-owned en­ti­ties.

Some of these al­le­ga­tions were made by some of Gi­gaba’s fel­low cab­i­net min­is­ters. Deputy Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa made the lat­est call to public ser­vants to fight and and pro­tect the fund from be­ing looted.

Ramaphosa was ad­dress­ing the na­tional gen­eral coun­cil of the South African Demo­cratic Teach­ers’ Union ( Sadtu) in Kemp­ton Park on Thurs­day.

Sadtu like Cosatu has en­dorsed Ramaphosa to suc­ceed ANC pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma at the party’s elec­tive con­fer­ence in De­cem­ber.

SACP boss and Min­is­ter of Higher Ed­u­ca­tion Blade Nz­i­mande was the first cab­i­net min­is­ter to sound the alarm against the per­ceived raid of PIC funds.

Nz­i­mande urged work­ers to de­mand rep­re­sen­ta­tion on the PIC board on Septem­ber 27, a day af­ter Gi­gaba as­sured the public the PIC funds were safe.

Gi­gaba made that as­sur­ance on Septem­ber 26 fol­low­ing a meet­ing he had with PIC chief ex­ec­u­tive Dr Dan Matjila and the board mem­bers in­clud­ing its chair­man and Deputy Min­is­ter of Fi­nance Sfiso Buthelezi.

In an ap­par­ent fight­back strat­egy, Gi­gaba’s of­fice is­sued a state­ment say­ing the min­is­ter is con­cerned about the politi­cis­ing of the PIC while clar­ity has been given on the mat­ter.

“The min­is­ter thought it would be im­por­tant to sup­port his state­ment with bold ac­tion.

“The min­is­ter has writ­ten a let­ter to the CEO and board of the PIC, re­quest­ing them to pro­vide a list of all its ben­e­fi­cia­ries and the in­vest­ments it has made, which he in­tends to make public.”

Gi­gaba has also asked Matjila and the board to con­duct a foren­sic in­ves­ti­ga­tion into any con­cerns of ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties at the as­set man­ager.

DA spokesper­son on fi­nance David Maynier said: “The truth is the min­is­ter’s ‘spin ma­chine’ is play­ing catch up des­per­ately try­ing to claim own­er­ship of pro­cesses that are al­ready un­der way at the PIC.”

Ac­cord­ing to Maynier, the first dis­clo­sure of ben­e­fi­cia­ries and in­vest­ments, which in­cluded de­tails of di­rec­tors and share­hold­ers, was made last year, and work to­wards pre­par­ing the sec­ond dis­clo­sure was well al­ready un­der way.

Maynier said Gi­gaba’s “spin ma­chine” was lately aimed at fram­ing him as a “cru­sader against state cap­ture” and a pro­tec­tor of the in­tegrity of the PIC.

“It’s just not cred­i­ble,” Maynier said.

Mean­while, the Public Ser­vants’ As­so­ci­a­tion and the South African Fed­er­a­tion of Trade Unions have wel­comed the planned con­sid­er­a­tion to ap­point labour rep­re­sen­ta­tion to the PIC board.

Malusi Gi­gaba

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