AYO invites PIC to court if they believe they have a case. File Photo: African News Agency (ANA)

CAPE TOWN – The chairperson of AYO Technology Solutions Advocate Wallace Mgoqi on Wednesday announced the company’s intention to sue the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) and other entities for damages against the company. The damages claim is expected to run into billions of rands.

Mgoqi, the chairperson appointed as one of four directors by the PIC in November 2018, said that AYO – the largest black information and communication technology company on the JSE – had had enough of the raft of allegations made against it in the public domain, much of which was hearsay, all of it baseless and without fact. 

He said in an interview with Business Report that AYO had presented a sound investment case to the PIC and other investors, that the company acted with integrity and had done nothing wrong. 

The comments made by PIC chairperson, Deputy Finance Minister Mondli Ngunbele, and various other officials of the PIC in the public space, in particular with media houses, had damaged the reputation of AYO. 

In so doing, the PIC prejudiced the business of AYO.

“The conduct of the PIC and former executives of AYO who testified at the PIC Commission of Inquiry, has resulted in AYO struggling to conclude transactions and do its business in an unhindered manner. This in turn, has significantly prejudiced AYO, its employees, customers, shareholders, advisors and business relationships

“The board of AYO, after listening to representation from various executives, is of the view that AYO has done nothing wrong,” he said.

Mgoqi emphasised the fact that AYO had presented a sound investment case to the PIC and stood by this. 

“There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that AYO has done anything wrong. On the contrary, the PIC chairperson and officials had in numerous public forums made remarks about AYO based on their own internal processes that have nothing to do with AYO. The conduct of the PIC and the conduct of its officials has resulted in damages to AYO and its businesses to the extent of billions of rands. 

“Key relationships with customers, partners, suppliers and other important stakeholders have all been prejudiced as a result of the conduct of the PIC and former executives of AYO that had been on a propaganda war against AYO in the media,” he said.

As a result AYOs board has resolved to instruct its attorneys to institute a damages claim against the PIC and its former executives.

“AYO reiterates that if the PIC believes that AYO has done anything wrong then it should go the courts and use the due process of the court to put its case forward,” said Mgoqi. 

He said AYO would, accordingly, welcome this opportunity to defend itself if such a process happens and AYO was confident of the outcome in its favour.

Shocking details recently emerged of alleged collusion between the PIC and the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) to underhandedly recover R4.3 billion the PIC invested in AYO.

A source close to the matter alleged that the instruction to recover the investment from AYO came from the PIC chairperson.

He was apparently supported by board member Sibusisiwe Zulu, who was recently implicated in corruption at the PIC.

Another source at the PIC said he was baffled by the compliance order as AYO had met all the requirements for the investment and could not be legally challenged.

BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE