Former Minister Nhlanhla Nene, was PIC chairperson when his son Siyabonga brought the S&S deal to the PIC. File Photo: IOL

PRETORIA – Nothing prevented the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) from funding an inter-related party during the time of the S&S Refinery transaction, which took place during the tenure of Nhlanhla Nene, who was Deputy Finance Minister and PIC chairperson.

The S&S transaction was brought to the PIC by Siyabonga Nene, Nhlanhla Nene’s son, and his business partner Amir Mirza. Nene and Mirza owned a company called Indiafrec Trade and Investment, and wished to jointly participate with the PIC is 50 percent of ownership of S&S Refinery.

The PIC’s executive head of impact investing, Royith Rajdhar, told the PIC Commission of Inquiry on Monday that the key issue raised by the portfolio management committee (PMC), related to Nene’s participation in the transaction given that his father was the chairperson of the board of PIC at the time and was also the Deputy Minister of Finance. 

“At that point in time PIC did not have a policy that dealt with provision of finance to inter-related parties. The PMC requested the deal and legal team to investigate the legal framework on financial assistance to interrelated parties and report back to the committee and should Nene’s involvement jeopardise the success of the transaction he should not be involved in the transaction,” said Rajdhar.

He said the team reported back to the subsequent PMC meeting that there was nothing preventing PIC from funding an inter-related party. “I further wish to point out that at a Politically Exposed Persons (PEP) policy was not in existence at the time of approving the initial transaction. The policy was approved in December 2014.” 

Rajdhar told the Commission that following completion of the due diligence and negotiation of the capital structure of S&S Refinery the investment team presented its Appraisal Report to the PMC. The PMC recommended the transaction for approval to the Fund Investment Panel.