Former PIC CEO Dan Matjila testifies at the PIC Commission of Inquiry. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency(ANA)

Dr Dan Matjila, former Public Investment Corporation (PIC) CEO, used his second day of testimony at the Mpati Commission of Inquiry in Pretoria, to hit back at allegations levelled him by some of the former board members at the PIC. 

Matjila indicated that there were knives out for him during his stint as chief investment officer and CEO at the asset manager. Addressing governance challenges, he spoke of how tensions during the restructuring of Afrisam, contributed to an unhealthy relationship between some non executive directors and the chief investment officer. 

"The mood at the PIC was bad to a point where the PIC Board decided to conduct an employee climate survey," he said, adding Deloitte was appointed to conduct the survey. 

He delved into the role played by former board member, Vuyo Jack, at the time, saying there was a clear meddling by non-executive directors in the daily operations of the PIC.

" Mr Vuyo Jack single handedly conducted the PIC governance review and organizational benchmarking and even ran a workshop. I have never seen this sort of interference in the running of an organization by a non-executive director," he said, stating that there were non-executive directors who were more concerned about keeping finance minister, Nhlanhla Nene at the time, happy, more than being prudent with the activities of the PIC.

Previously testifying at the Commission, Jack said during the survey it had emerged that the was a culture of fear and poor people management at the orgnanisation. 
But Matjila responded by saying that considering how the survey was conducted, it led him to believe that there was a personal vendetta against him, as the process was not transparent and did not involve execs. 

"It was kept a secret and I felt it was targeted at me."

Asked how he had reached a conclusion that he had been prejudiced, he said it was due to the fact that the terms of reference of the survey were not shared with anyone and, while he had indicated his discomfort to the chairman and deputy chairman, it had been clear that there was an effort to remove him for the PIC,or dilute his responsibilities.

He also highlighted that during his time there, he experienced fierce political pressure, as well as, from business individuals who felt their business ventures had to be financed by the PIC. He didn't identify who these people were. 

"Over the 15 years as CIO and CEO, I found this aspect of my work to be extremely stressful, as I was not there to relentless funding by political parties and business elite, but, to proactively search for assets that would fit a defined portfolio structure and the client mandate."

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