PIC chief executive Dan Matjila. Picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi/African News Agency (ANA)
JOHANNESBURG -The current wave of attacks on the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), especially on its Chief Executive Officer, is viewed by the Public Servants Association (PSA) as political interference, which could raid the integrity and independence of the Corporation, the PSA said in a statement on Thursday. 

“The PSA condemns the political stranglehold on the PIC and demands the removal of all politicians from the PIC, including the Deputy Minister of Finance, and the freezing of all investments pending the appointment of union representatives on the PIC board,” PSA Deputy General Manager, Tahir Maepa said in a statement. 

The PSA says it has been engaging the PIC on what is regarded as questionable processes and investments by the Corporation that impacted on public servants’ pension investments.

“The PSA agrees with Minister Nene that no sufficient evidence has been produced to review the decision of the current board. The PIC CEO, Dr Dan Matjila, was cleared by the PIC board on all allegations that he acted improperly by awarding a loan to a company that was linked to his supposed girlfriend. The need to resurrect those allegations seems suspicious, linked to a need to replace Dr Matjila with someone who is ‘friendlier’ to the current politician at the helm of PIC board. The PSA is aware that these political ploys to remove Dr Matjila are a way to accommodate investments of a faction of politically-connected individuals. If Dr Matjila is guilty of anything, can that evidence be produced, instead of this mudslinging,” said Mr Maepa. The PSA has also learned that the PIC’s court action to recover some R30 million rental owed to it by a politically connected businessman has angered some politicians closely connected to the businessman.

“Is this the reason why the board chairperson is acting in this strange manner, by breaking ranks with a board that he is supposed to be leading? It is because of these concerns that the PSA as a Union that supports transparency and integrity in support of rooting out corruption wants to rid the PIC of political interference. The organisation must be independently run by competent professionals who do not serve political interests,” said Mr Maepa.