Sekunjalo Independent Media's Takudzwa Hove Picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency (ANA)

CAPE TOWN – Sekunjalo Independent Media (SIM) on Tuesday received an application for its liquidation from the Public Investment Corporation (PIC).

Takudzwa Hove, the spokesperson for SIM, said the PIC’s application was frivolous as it appeared to have intentionally omitted certain factual and legal considerations relevant to the matter.

“If it had included it, it would have made its application a nullity,” said Hove. “By virtue of the PIC’s debt-for-shares swop into Sagarmatha Technologies Limited, the PIC no longer has any claim against SIM.”

Dr Iqbal Survé has been cited as a party to the proceedings even though no relief is claimed against him. “The PIC’s application smacks of malice and designed to embarrass the Sekunjalo Group and Dr Survé,” Hove said.

SIM is a subsidiary within the Sekunjalo Group. Its subsidiary, Independent Media, is fully operational and not a party to the liquidation application.

On October 16, Lindiwe Dlamini acting executive head of legal counsel, governance and compliance at the PIC appeared before parliament’s portfolio committee where she made utterances to the effect that the PIC intends to liquidate Sekunjalo, creating the impression that the PIC would liquidate the Sekunjalo Group instead of SIM.

Despite the Sekunjalo Group seeking clarity, the PIC failed to do so.

Hove said: “SIM has instructed its attorneys and will vigorously defend this matter.”

The PIC is the biggest asset manager in South Africa, and it recently announced that its assets under management for the financial year ending March 2019 had grown to R2.131 trillion.

* This is a developing story.