South Africa - Pretoria - 28 May 2019 - Executive head of Human Resources at PIC Chris Pholwane, give evidence on his second day at the PIC Commission of Inquiry held at Sammy Marks Square, Pretoria. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi/African News Agency(ANA)
JOHANNESBURG - Processes within the Human Resources Department at the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) took centre stage at the PIC Commission of Inquiry, when Chris Pholwane, the organisation’s executive head of human resources, stuck to his guns about being clean of any wrong doing.  This included the alleged victimisation of employees who were suspended under former CEO Dan Matjila’s tenure.

Explaining himself before retired Judge Lex Mpati, Pholwane said the PIC’s HR Department, under his leadership, has always acted independently and objectively in assessing allegations of misconduct on the part of employees, brought to it by other units within the PIC, including the office of the CEO.

In this regard, almost all the employees who made these allegations and who went through a disciplinary hearing, were found guilty of the charges they were facing, Including those of serious misconduct, by an independent chairperson body such as the CCMA.

He further highlighted to the Commission that none of the employees who are complaining about victimization and intimidation, alleged that the HR and the PIC in general, is not acting on similar acts of misconduct by other employees.

“It is my view that in order for them to sustain their argument that disciplinary proceedings are used as a mechanism to victimize and silence them, they have to show that there are other employees within the PIC who have committed similar acts, and in respect of whom, no action is taken. As a matter of fact, the PIC has consistently been taking and continues to administer and instil discipline, indiscriminately without fear, favour and prejudice,” he said. 

In his testimony, he further pointed out  that since the HR Department is tasked with the primary responsibility of leading and administering disciplinary charges on behalf of the organization, it is not inconceivable that fingers would always be pointed.