Pretoria - Gill Marcus, the former governor of the South African Reserve Bank, took offence when Sekunjalo Investment Holdings chairman Dr Iqbal Survé proclaimed that his company was not a Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) front for white-owned companies in South Africa’s economic landscape.

Survé told the commission that the majority of PIC investments were in white companies where hundreds of billions of rand were lost in bad investments.

Marcus is assisting retired Supreme Court of Appeals (SCA) Judge President Lex Mpati in chairing the commission.

Speaking to what Sekunjalo was - a black-owned business operating in the South African economy - Survé said: “We are not enslaved to white-owned businesses or banks or any white institutions, which makes us unique as a South African business.”

Marcus interjected: “Would you be unique if you were indebted to black business or something?” She then added: “You refer all the time to white, white, white - and I am finding it a bit offensive, to be quite frank.

“This is not a platform for your personal views around white and black in this, a non-racial country as far as I am aware. Can we have some respect?”

Survé then responded: “I am speaking factually. I am respectfully disagreeing with you. This country is still white-dominated and the capital markets are white-dominated.

Video: SABC

“It is not a political platform, it is simply the facts that I am stating. We are not a front for any white business. We are absolutely not. We are a proudly black-owned company.

"We have not taken R450billion out of this country on the basis that Europe and Australia are a good investment place where the PIC has lost R100bn. Steinhoff has taken R240bn out of South Africa to Germany. We are a proud South African business. I am proud to be black and I am proud to not be owned by any white institution in South Africa.”

In his testimony, Survé said he would endeavour to make himself available to be interrogated by members of the commission as well as the evidence leader advocate Jannie Lubbe. He also undertook to respond in full to the best of his ability.

The Mercury