South Africa - Pretoria - 19 March 2019 - Nomzamo Petje at the PIC Commission of Inquiry. Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency(ANA)

PRETORIA – The Commission of Inquiry into alleged improprieties at the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) on Tuesday heard how a communications manager was allegedly subjected victimisation and indimidation by her superiors.

Nomzamo Petje was appointed PIC Communication Manager in August 2011 but was later demoted to a junior analyst position during a restructuring process. 

She told the Commission that she now had to report to people who would have been her juniors and reporting to her in my former position and division. “Therefore, the transfer was nothing but a demotion.” 

Petje said: “As a black woman I have been subjected to the worst form of victimisation and intimidation at the hands of my seniors. All this was done to manage me out of the organisation by making my situation unbearable and untenable.” 

She told the Commission that at some point she was also told that she was free to leave the company if she wanted to.

Petje expressed concerns that certain executives were reneging on directives from erstwhile chief executive Dr Dan Matjila, such as the current acting chief executive, Matshepo More and head of corporate affairs Deon Botha. 

She told the Commission that she had raised the issue of her demotion with Matjila and, after a meeting that included Botha and Sekgoela Sekgoela, she was then appointed to act in the position of investor relations. 

This acting position, which had been previously filled by one Adrian Lackay, was for a six-month period ending in March, leaving Petje in a state of uncertainty. 

Petje said: “I engaged Botha on the issue on the position Matjila had allegedly instructed him to create for me. Botha now changed his tune, he now claims that Matjila had only mentioned the issue in an informal and general way. The impression I get is that Botha is now reneging on Matjila’s instruction, which he did not object to when it was given to him.”  

Petje said she made several attempts to engage with the acting chief executive More to resolve her predicament. Many meetings were requested, many emails exchanged but it did not yield fruit as meetings were postponed on many occasions.

She said she was initially hesitant to approach to Commission due to the fear of what will happen to her if she testified.

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