CAPE TOWN – Businessperson Kholofelo Maponya, who is alleged to have solicited a R95 million origination fee from SA Home Loans (SAHL) following a R10 billion transaction by the latter at the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), has refuted claims of any wrongdoing and is itching to have his day at the Judge Alex Mpati-led PIC Commission of Inquiry.
This was after it was revealed at the inquiry that Maponya and a number of former PIC executives were reported to the Hawks for allegedly attempting to solicit a R95m origination fee from the financial services provider.
An origination fee is an upfront fee charged by a lender for processing a new loan application. It is compensation for putting the loan in place.
Standard Bank senior counsel Ian Sinton said former PIC chief executive Dr Dan Matjila, executive head of Impact Investing Royith Rajdhar and Maponya were reported to the Hawks by SAHL chief executive Kevin Penwarden.
This after Maponya allegedly sought to be paid a R95m origination fee when SAHL was set to receive a second loan worth R10bn on condition that its transaction fee included a R45m payment to Maponya’s black economic empowerment consortium.
The origination fee in question was interpreted as a bribe by Penwarden, who sought legal advice on how to deal with the matter. According to Sinton, he was instructed by his lawyers and auditors to report it to the Hawks.
Maponya has dismissed these claims and reiterated that he is prepared to have his day at the inquiry.
In a statement on the latest allegations levelled against him, Maponya said his company, Matome Maponya Investment Holdings, had entered into various deals with the help of the PIC, explaining that these deals included the acquisition of the poultry business Daybreak as well as financing the acquisition of SAHL.
He revealed that the PIC had funded the Daybreak transaction and then proceeded to systematically disable its operation capabilities; funded Afgri and then diluted and left him out of further deals with Afgri and another venture, Magae Makhaya, which was stopped from operating before it started.
He was of the view that this was in large part because the PIC had sought to control the business after it had been invited to participate in it.
“This case is currently before the Supreme Court of Appeal,” he said.
“It was expected that Sinton would, on Wednesday (yesterday) make the case before the commission that certain payments to Maponya were irregular. I will rebut Sinton’s testimony when I get my day at the hearing,” he said in the statement.
“While I do not want to claim that I am the reason for the PIC commission sitting, I have written letters of complaint about the treatment by the PIC to former ministers of finance Nhlanhla Nene, Malusi Gigaba and current Deputy Minister Mondli Gungubele, as well as the Presidency.
“Only the Presidency (specifically the office of the then-deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa) attempted to broker a meeting, but this was turned down by the PIC. That is why I am looking forward to my day at the commission, because it is what I have been waiting for. It was only after President Ramaphosa took over that the commission was set up,” explained Maponya.
The businessperson claimed he was treated unfairly by the PIC, which forced him to work with a consortium he had no previous knowledge of and offer help to third parties “under dubious circumstances”.
Maponya said his company had always submitted business plans which were fundable to commercial banks as well as other state funding agencies such as the Industrial Development Corporation and the Development Bank of Southern Africa.
“We took most of our business to the PIC due to the low equity cheque, even though that makes them the most expensive equity funder. This we did because of our appetite for more deals in our shared goal of high social impact investing,” said Maponya.