Judge Lex Mpati.

PRETORIA – President Cyril Ramaphosa has extended the lifespan of the commission of inquiry probing allegations of impropriety at the Public Investment Corporation (PIC). 

In a statement on Saturday, the commission of inquiry, headed by Judge Lex Mpati in Pretoria, said Ramaphosa had acceded to the commission’s request for an extension, with the new date of submission of the final report being July 31. 

In accordance with its terms of reference, the commission submitted an interim report on February 15, and was scheduled to hand in its final report by April 15. 

“In his interim report, submitted to the president on February 15, 2019, the chairperson of the commission, Justice Lex Mpati, requested an extension of three months. The motivation for the request is the extent of the ongoing investigations by the commission’s forensic team into a considerable number of transactions, which must be concluded well in advance of the date of submission of the final report to the president,” the statement said. 

The terms of reference of the commission now include a new clause: “Whether the PIC has given effect to its clients’ mandates as required by the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act and any applicable legislation.” 

The addition came as a result of allegations made before the commission that, in certain instances, the PIC might not have acted in accordance with clients’ mandates. 

The public hearings were set to continue as scheduled today. The commission is headed by Mpati, assisted by former South African Reserve Bank governor Gill Marcus and veteran asset manager Emmanuel Lediga. 

Among the 16 terms of reference the commission must probe is whether any alleged impropriety regarding investment decisions by the PIC as alleged in media reports in 2017 and 2018 contravened any legislation. The commission is probing whether PIC policy or contractual obligations resulted in any undue benefit for any of its directors or employees, or any associate or family member of any director or employee at the time. 

African News Agency (ANA)