Lance Witten, executive producer for ANA+, recently had the opportunity to interview Sekunjalo Group executive chairman Dr Iqbal Survé on a number of issues that have come under the spotlight recently.
The aim of the interview was to seek clarity on several issues regarding Sekunjalo Investment Holdings and Sekunjalo Independent Media, especially in the light of statements made by a senior official of the Public Investment Corporation in Parliament in the days following a controversial raid by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA).
The PIC’s acting executive head of legal, governance and compliance, Lindiwe Dlamini recently told Parliament that Africa’s largest asset manager was thinking about liquidating Sekunjalo to recover debts owed to it by Sekunjalo Independent Media, a statement which Sekunjalo has condemned as "reckless" and "factually and legally incorrect".
Dlamini claimed that Sekunjalo Investment Holdings, through AYO Technologies, was siphoning PIC-invested funds offshore. Reacting to a letter received from AYO Technology Solutions, the PIC subsequently backtracked on the allegations.
Earlier this month the FSCA raided Sekunjalo's offices in what Dr Survé has called "an underhanded attempt to obtain information relating to our legal case against the PIC and the GEPF."
In a statement after the raid, the FSCA said that the operation was conducted as part of an investigation into allegations of prohibited trading practices, in possible contravention of section 80 of the Financial Markets Act.
“As a market conduct regulator, the FSCA is mandated in terms of the Financial Sector Regulation Act, 9 of 2017 to investigate and, in appropriate instances, take enforcement action in cases of market abuse on the financial markets,” the statement read.
The raid saw a number of rival media houses publish articles which painted Sekunjalo and its executive chairman in a negative light.
The Sekunjalo Group has since instructed its legal counsel to institute a multimillion-rand damages claim against the FSCA, the officials involved in the raid and the FSCA’s caretaker commissioner, Abel Sithole.