Deputy Minister of Finance, Mondli Gungubele. Photo: Timothy Bernard/African News Agency (ANA)

CAPE TOWN – Deputy Finance Minister and Public Investment Corporation (PIC) chairperson Mondli Gungubele yesterday welcomed  the board decision to institute investigations on allegations of corruption implicating him and the corporation's top brass.

Gungubele said the investigation would test the veracity of the allegations and put an end to them.

He said that he knew that he would be cleared as he had done nothing wrong.

“I have noted the decision by my fellow board members to investigate the allegations against me contained in an email circulated this week by a ‘whistle-blower’. I welcome the opportunity to clear this matter once and for all,” Gungubele said.

On Tuesday, a man identifying himself as James Noku claimed in an email sent to Finance Minister Tito Mboweni that Gungubele, non-executive director Sibusisiwe Zulu and acting chief executive Matshepo More had colluded to sideline other board members to influence the awarding of PIC funding.

Zulu and an acting judge in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court were alleged to have approved transactions worth about R6 billion for Lawrence Mulaudzi.

The transactions allegedly include the controversial Total deal in which Mulaudzi was paid R100 million for facilitation of which R40m was paid to Zulu.

PIC head of corporate affairs Deon Botha said the board held a special meeting on Tuesday evening after receiving an email making allegations of impropriety that implicated two non-executive directors and the acting chief executive.

“Following the recusal of the three affected board members, the board meeting was chaired by deputy chairperson Dr Xolani Mkhwanazi,” Botha said. “At the meeting, it was resolved to immediately conduct a forensic investigation into these allegations.” 

The board also resolved to engage the services of an experienced senior counsel to assist with the investigation.

In his email, which was seen by Business Report, Noku claimed that Zulu had used Mulaudzi to benefit from transactions that she approved in the committees that she chaired. She had the power to approve up to R2bn without the board's consent. 

“Through her scheme with the boyfriend, she benefited from R600m in shareholding and well over R100m in fees which she uses to finance her lavish lifestyle.”

Sources claimed that Zulu boasted openly about the close relationship she had established with Gungubele as well as having cemented their power through the inclusion of the acting chief executive to their cabal.

“Since the appointment of the acting chief executive, it has become common knowledge in the transaction market that if you want any deal to be considered by the PIC you need to seek a meeting with Zulu’s boyfriend who will then talk to both More and Gungubele to get the go ahead,” one said.

“If you agree to their terms of sharing 50 percent of the transactional fees and 40 percent shares in the proposed transaction which will be distributed to Mondli, More and Zulu through selected proxies then your deal will be approved with no hassles.” 

In email correspondence seen by Business Report, Zulu allegedly stated her support for an investigation.

“I would be comfortable if the board deals with the matter in a manner similar to what I advocated for in the previous James Noku emails 

“Then we can avoid any challenge to the process followed by the board and you are not seen to have covered up for me.” 

BUSINESS REPORT