UDM leader General Bantu Holomisa laid bare a series of major PIC transactions in a letter to President Cyril Ramaphosa. Photo: Masi Losi/African News Agency (ANA)

PRETORIA – President of the United Democratic Movement (UDM), Bantu Holomisa, on Wednesday urged the Justice Lex Mpati Commission to take a closer look at allegations against Lawrence Mulaudzi and why it seemed so easy for Mulaudzi to gain access to PIC funding.

Holomisa was testifying before the Commission of Inquiry into alleged improprieties at the Public Investment Corporation (PIC).

The UDM leader referred the commission to the alleged funding support for Kefolile Health Investments for the subscription of Ascendis Health and Bounty Brands shareholding. 

He said the Kefolile deal, that involves the PIC and some other common role-players, had been for an aggregate amount of R1.775 billion funding support. 

“The alleged common role-player, in this and the Project Atlas deal, is Mr Mulaudzi. We think you would be wise to inquire what his role had been in both deals, whether he received transactional incentives and most importantly if all the allegations are true, why it seems so easy for Mr Mulaudzi to gain access to PIC funding.

“Using the documents I am handing over to the Commission, it could verify with the PIC’s management, especially staffer Mr Roy Rajdhar, and former chief executive Dr Dan Matjila … the PlC’s apparent ever-willingness to finance Mr Mulaudzi’s companies,” said Holomisa. 

He said the commission would also be well advised to scrutinise these records and verify how many companies were allegedly linked to Mr Mulaudzi. 

“Following the money trail, the files contain a ‘Consumer Trace Report’ which reveals the over 30 companies in which Mr Mulaudzi seemingly plays an active role, as well as the four landline and six cellphone numbers that are ostensibly associated with him,” he said. 

Holomisa said scrutinising the information, he came across a text message, which is an apparent conversation between Mulaudzi and a certain board member where he appears to be pressurising for a payment to be done and he even forwarded what could be his bank account details. 

He said this seemed to enforce the idea that Mulaudzi had a hotline to the PIC management. 

Of note is that Mulaudzi is in a relationship with PIC director Sibusisiwe Zulu.

“It has never been a secret that in 2018 Ms Zulu and I developed a close friendship that ultimately translated into a relationship. This relationship was never informed by our careers but rather our common social interests,” said Mulaudzi in a statement shortly after allegations made by whistle-blower James Noko. 

He said as a businessman, he had interacted with the PIC but denied engaging with Zulu regarding his interactions.