Suspended head of listed investments at the PIC, Fidelis Madavo. File Image: IOL

PRETORIA – The Public Investment Corporation (PIC) executive head of human resources Chris Pholwane on Tuesday told the inquiry probing allegations of impropriety that he was instructed by the board to suspend Fidelis Madavo, the executive responsible for Listed Investments.

“There was a discussion [in the board meeting which started on Monday evening] in reference with a suspension I needed to serve this morning, which dealt with. I believe an outcome of a report from internal audit. The details, I was not privy to those details,” Pholwane told the inquiry chaired by former Supreme Court of Appeal Justice Lex Mpati.

The inquiry’s evidence leader Advocate Jannie Lubbe SC asked Pholwane if he had been presented with the audit report that was the basis for suspending Madavo.

Pholwane responded: “No, I was not presented with the report.”

He added: “There was also another employee in the Listed Investments division which I had to serve with a suspension this morning.”

Lubbe asked if the “normal PIC procedure” had been followed in suspending Madavo.

Pholwane responded: “Ordinarily, you would want to provide an opportunity for serving the notice [of suspension] and this morning obviously that was short time. 

"From a procedural point of view … you would make an arrangement for the employee to present himself or herself for the purpose of a meeting, and you explain the nature of the meeting and you also indicate the suspension that is going to be served. 

"You provide an opportunity to respond either orally or in written form.”

He said procedurally, Madavo would have been given the opportunity to present why he should not be suspended.

Commissioner of the inquiry, former South African Reserve Bank governor Gill Marcus asked Pholwane about the massive suspensions at the PIC.

“In essence, 50 percent of your Exco is either suspended or resigned,” stated Marcus.

Pholwane responded: “That is the current position, yes.”

In November, the PIC board deliberated on the letter from the chief executive, Dr Daniel Matjila, expressing his intention to resign. 

The board, of Africa's largest asset manager, resolved that in the interest of the PIC as well as that of the long-serving chief executive, to accept his resignation with immediate effect.

African News Agency (ANA)