Thabang Mothelois the media officer for the Information and Communication Technology Union.
Thabang Mothelois the media officer for the Information and Communication Technology Union.

ICTU welcomes release of PIC report

By Ayanda Mdluli Time of article published Mar 13, 2020

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Cape Town - The Information Communication Technology Union (ICTU) has welcomed the release of the "long-awaited" PIC Commission report. 

Thabang Mothelo, the media officer of ICTU, said the union welcomes the sweeping proposed changes from poor governance, circumvention of Delegation of Authority protocols and generally poor decision-making to those managing the public investments under PIC.

He was of the view that the previous board, led by former deputy finance minister Mondli Gungubele, which has been at the centre of the malfeasance at the PIC, should be permanently blacklisted for failing their fiduciary duties and to never come within 100 metres of any board structure in any company.

"In hindsight, the union is concerned about the capacity of the multidisciplinary investigative teams and authority and prosecutorial team which is already complaining about lack of enough human capital to undertake their current respective assignments. With this in mind, the country must brace itself for the Zondo Commission report which certainly will run into thousands of pages with equally sweeping changes but would probably take a year before its release," he said. 

He said ICTU had previously released a statement in 2019 asking for restraint from the PIC and "some obsessed media houses like the Daily Maverick to hold their horses".

The union upon reading certain aspects of the report on Independent Media is of the view that that the PIC needs to get its house in order and sort out its poor governance and internal structures. 

"This being a fact, ICTU is vindicated that the Daily Maverick and  amaBhungane,  which have shown obsession with their unnecessary negative reports against their competitor, have been behaving like a hired gun," he said.

He also added that there was a third force that ICTU had alluded to in 2019, in the application of the PIC to liquidate Independent Media. 

"The PIC under Mr Rueuel Khoza defended their decision as protecting the interest of the PIC. The country and workers are yet to hear why Mr Khoza and PIC have not taken any action on the two to recoup what is due to workers nor justify what their impropriety has not been publicised?

The report factually indicates that the two most companies representing a loss are Lancaster Steinhof and Erin Energy Limited.

Lancaster Steinhof which is reported to owe a combined debt of R23.5bn has not been placed in the spotlight.

The Independent Media alleged debt is less than 1%, if there is, of Lancaster Steinhof," he said. 

He explained that despite this phenomenal debt by Lancaster Steinhof, "Daily Maverick and amaBhungane could not care to place it as their primary attention."

"Their third force motives under the pretentious slogan of protection of workers' hard-earned pensions, it is baffling on why they ignored Lancaster Steinhof," he said. 

"ICTU is making a point that two companies (Lancaster Steinhof and Erin Energy Limited) which have gigantic losses were not covered negatively excessively.  This proves that there is no fairness. This commission's report has thrown their fictitious cover of "following the story" as nothing but a smokescreen," he added. 

He further explained that the union is raising this matter because Independent Media is an employer of 1500 employees and some are members of ICTU and the PIC. 

"Daily Maverick could have precipitated the demise of Independent Media which could have had devastating effects for many workers and their families. This is at the heart of the concerns raised by ICTU as to who are the donors to DM, amaBhungane and Sanef, who are all in a clandestine relationship," he said. 

He further stated: "These media houses' vendetta against Dr Survé should not affect workers' plight. We don't care if they box each other for free, we wouldn't be interested in being spectators of such a boxing match either."

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