South Africa - Pretoria - 15 April 2019 - Director of Harith General Partners Tshepo Mahloele testifies at the Public Investment Corporation(PIC) Commission of Inquiry in Old Council Chambers, Sammy Marks Building, Pretoria. Picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency(ANA)

PRETORIA – The Public Investment Corporation (PIC) requested a mandate from the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) to invest $250 million (about R3.5 billion at the current exchange rate) in the Pan-African Infrastructure Development Fund (PAIDF).

This was revealed to the PIC Commission of Inquiry by Lebashe and Harith director, Tshepo Mahloele, who is also former head of corporate finance at the PIC’s Isibaya Fund.

Mahloele told the commission led by Judge Lex Mpati that the PlC’s Management Executive Committee identified him as the best candidate for the job of establishing the PAIDF, on the strength of his performance record and expertise, while employed by the PIC. 

“With effect from 31 March 2006, I resigned from the PIC with the specific task of establishing the PAIDF, outside of the PIC and indeed of all institutions in which, Government had a stake. My resignation was not a ‘secondment’. 

“I had in fact, been intending to leave the PIC anyway, in order to set up my own private investment business and also intended to move to Cape Town. I was persuaded to abandon these plans,” said Mahloele. 

He said following internal procedures, the PIC loaned to the PAIDF Facilitation Trust, seed capital of an initial amount of just more than R17 million. 

Mahloele told the commission that the loan was also approved by National Treasury and the then Minister of Finance, Mr Trevor Manuel, with the full recommendation of the PIC Board.