The chairman of the Sekunjalo Group Dr Iqbal Survé testifying at the PIC Commission of Inquiry. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

PRETORIA – In the latter part of 2018, Sekunjalo put in a firm offer to the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) to take on the exposure of the PIC, over and above, its current support of the operating cash flow needs of the business, according to Sekunjalo chairperson Dr Iqbal Survé’s testimony to the PIC Commission of Inquiry.  

Survé told the commission that Sekunjalo, therefore, went from a minimal risk position, to assuming significant risk in an endeavour to help the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) and the PIC.

“Despite the PIC having agreed to the above, Sekunjalo has received no formal communication from the PIC since the offer, despite repeated requests to the PIC; this was the position until last week when it was verbally communicated to Sekjunjalo that the PIC had rejected the offer.  This decision by the PIC is once more, indicative of its investment decisions being driven by political motives, as opposed to the genuine interests of its investors.

“In the event that the PIC had agreed to the offer, it was Sekunjalo’s intention to have followed this initiative with a similar offer to the Chinese shareholders,” said Survé.

He said, since the transaction in August 2013, neither the PIC nor the Chinese, had funded Independent Media. “Only Sekunjalo has funded Independent for the benefit of the other shareholders, including the PIC.

“The proposed offers to the PIC and the Chinese would have resulted in a capital exposure to the Sekunjalo Group of approximately R2.5 billion to R2.8 billion over the next five years. It is important to bring finality to the capital structure of Independent Media, since the company employs 1 500 people and serves an important public service,” said Survé.