SOUTH AFRICA - PRETORIA - 27 February 2019. PIC Board member Sandra Beswick testifying at the PIC Commission of Enquiry. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)
JOHANNESBURG - Sibusisiwe Zulu, a board member at the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) who has been implicated in corruption and nepotism scandals at the institution, was the mastermind behind the en masse resignations that have put the PIC board in limbo and in a state of dysfunction.

These shocking revelations were from another PIC board member, Dudu Hlatshwayo, at her testimony yesterday in front of former president of the Supreme Court of Appeal, Lex Mpati, at the PIC Commission of Inquiry into impropriety and corruption under former chief executive of the PIC Dan Matjila’s tenure.

According to Hlatshwayo’s testimony, during an in-camera meeting of the board four weeks ago, PIC chairman and Deputy Finance Minister Mondli Gungubele took a call from Finance Minister Tito Mboweni, who told him that he should either resign “today or be fired on Monday”.

When Gungubele returned to brief the board about the sacking, Zulu then hatched a plan for the entire board to resign together, stating in the letter that they would continue as board members until such a time that the minister appointed an interim board.

“Ms Zulu came up with the wonderful idea of resigning en masse. She quickly and flawlessly dictated the letter of resignation to the company secretary and after having been proof-read by everyone, the letter was signed by all directors. On Monday, February 4, Minister Mboweni had not responded to the directors nor appointed the new board,” said Hlatshwayo.

At the PIC, Zulu has a history of compiling and dictating letters that were actioned without following proper due processes.

Zulu is also an acting judge at the KZN High Court and questions have been raised about a potential conflict of interest. A whistleblower, who goes by the name of James Noko, revealed in a series of emails that Zulu is widely regarded to be at the centre of the patronage and nepotism network at the PIC.

Previous reports based on information by the whistleblower suggest that she is accused of approaching some businesses seeking PIC funding for a 50% kickback on potential transactions or a 40% alternative share option in whichever enterprise the PIC would invest in. Zulu has access to and control of at least R2 billion worth of pensioners’ funds at the PIC, which are allegedly used to channel monies into investments of her choice.

According to the whistleblower: “Since the appointment of the acting CEO (Matshepo More), it has become common knowledge that if you want any deal to be considered by the PIC you need to seek a meeting with Ms Zulu’s boyfriend, who will then talk to both Ms More and the deputy minister to get the go-ahead.”

Businessman Lawrence Mulaudzi is alleged by the whistleblower to be romantically linked to Zulu. He has allegedly benefited from transactions to the tune of R6bn. Zulu did not respond to questions by the time of going to print.

- BUSINESS REPORT