98% of PIC’s portfolio was doing very well, says Dan Matjila
Companies / 24 July 2019, 08:47am / Kabelo Khumalo
Former Public Investment Corporation (PIC) chief executive Dan Matjila yesterday told the Lex Mpati Commission looking into allegations of wrongdoing at the asset manager that he felt the commission had only zoomed-in to a small portion of the company's non-performing investments and overlooked its successes.
Matjila said 98 percent of the PIC’s portfolio was doing “very well”.
“The main function of the PIC is to deliver asset management services to its clients, manage their port- folios and generate returns. In a big portfolio of about R2trillion, when you deliver out-performance for a client of 252 basis points on a five-year rolling number, then you're the best,” Matjila said.
Assistant commissioner Gill Marcus took on Matjila’s stance that the PIC had done well under his leadership in the light of the allegations of improper conduct that led to the establishment of a commission by President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Matjila said notwithstanding the challenges that existed at the PIC, he still believed that the asset man- ager had performed well under his stewardship.
“The commission is here dealing with almost 2 percent of the portfolio and some of the assets in this 2 percent are actually performing well.
"This commission is looking into issues around transactions and impropriety,” Matjila said.
“Ninety-eight percent of the portfolio is doing exceptionally well. I am not undermining the work of this commission, because it is designed to improve on the workings of the PIC.”
Companies that have taken centre stage since the commission began its work include Ayo Technology, Independent Media, Erin Energy, Lancaster 101 and Ecobank, among others.
Matjila also took aim at Paul Magula, the former head of risk and compliance at the PIC, and one of two PIC nominee directors at failed VBS Mutual Bank.
He testified that he learnt from an unnamed “prominent politician” that Magula was lined up to take over from him once he was fired from the PIC.
“This, I believe, was in return for facilitating a housing loan for the former state president.”
Former president Jacob Zuma used a VBS bond in September 2016 to pay back a portion of the money used for “security upgrades” to his Nkandla home after he was instructed to do so by the Constitutional Court.
Media reports have alleged that the bank, which spectacularly folded last year, gifted Zuma an R8.5million bond at least nine months before any documents were signed to give the bank security over the loan.
Magula was shown the door by the asset manager in April last year.
A forensic report released by the South African Reserve Bank revealed that R1.9bn had been looted from the failed bank by directors and politically connected individuals.