Former PIC CEO Dan Matjila testifies at the PIC Commission of Inquiry. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency(ANA)
Former Public Investment Corporation (PIC) Dan Matjila yesterday insisted that he left the asset manager in good shape following his widely publicised ouster from his role there eight months ago.

Matjila told the Judge Lex Mpati commission looking into the affairs of the PIC that the asset manager did well in delivering on its mandate.

Matjila refuted claims that he ran a one-man show at the PIC.

“The PIC continues to outperform its benchmarks and serves the interests of 1273125 members of the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF), whose investments it manages, and the 450322 pensioners and beneficiaries for whom it provides a secure, prosperous and dignified retirement,” Matjila said.

“Contrary to the erroneous claims made in certain media reports, no single person within the PIC, and especially not me, can possibly make an investment decision on his or her own. All potential investments are carefully scrutinised and analysed in the Portfolio Management Committee (PMC) processes and discussed and debated by the PMC before a decision to invest is made.”

He, however, added that at the end of the day, the markets determined the value of an investment.

Gill Marcus, one of the assistant commissioners, took Matjila to task and said evidence at the inquiry contradicted Matjila’s claims of a company in good shape as they showed shortcomings at the PIC. Matjila said while there were challenges, the PIC performed well under him.

Matjila spent 15 years after being seconded to the institution as a risk manager by then chief executive Brian Molefe in 2003.

He later became chief investment officer in 2005, and chief executive in 2014 until his abrupt departure in November.

Early this week, he testified that he was instrumental in growing the asset base of the PIC from R300 billion to more than R2 trillion in assets under management at the time of his departure in 2018.

The commission also wanted Matjila to answer to previous testimony from some of his erstwhile colleagues that he exerted undue influence over investment decisions.

“I don't understand where my colleagues were coming from in terms of me putting pressure on them. I was actually quite shocked that people were making statements that I was pressurising them.”

Matjila also denied that he spearheaded a merger between investment firm Kilimanjaro Capital (KiliCap) and Sakhumnotho in order for the consortium to receive R1.8bn for a 91 percent stake in Tosaco Energy.

The GEPF, which is the PIC’s biggest client, will on Monday testify at the commission with Matjila expected to complete his testimony soon thereafter.

Matjila is expected to be subjected to cross-examination by Jannie Lubbe, who is the evidence leader of the commission.

BUSINESS REPORT