'It’s time to release the PIC report'
Cape Town - At least 72 witnesses who testified before the Commission of Inquiry into alleged impropriety at the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) and all the asset manager’s investee companies are waiting with bated breath for President Cyril Ramaphosa to release the report, which was submitted to him on December 15, last year.
United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa is among those who have called on Ramaphosa to stay true to his word: “During the Sona speech the president said he would release this report; instead we read leaked snippets of it. Publish it so we can all read whether it’s whitewash or not - RELEASE IT,” Holomisa said in a tweet.
“What is in the report that Ramaphosa appears to be so scared about? Yet another scandal involving the ANC, more particularly members of his hugely compromised Cabinet?” asked DA MP Alf Lees.
At his State of the Nation Address (SONA) Ramaphosa said: “I have received a detailed and voluminous report on the Commission of Inquiry into the Public Investment Corporation. I will make it available to the public together with a plan on taking the findings and recommendations forward in a few days.”
When Ramaphosa addressed the South African National Editors' Forum on March 4, responding to a question posed by Cape Times editor Siyavuya Mzantsi, he said it would be unfair for him to reveal what was in the report.
“Do you really want me to reveal to you now what is in it? If I did I would be unfair to the others, so why don’t you wait until the report is released? Within days, that report will be out for everyone to see it,” said Ramaphosa.
The president’s choice of words was non-committal but gave all the people whose lives were affected during the PIC Commission of Inquiry some hope of knowing the truth by now.
Every interested party, from investors to the media, may have viewed Ramaphosa’s announcement as quite decisive and a chance to finally get to know the truth.
The report of the PIC commission had been sent by Ramaphosa to the chairperson of the PIC, Dr Reuel Khoza, to give him an insight into the issues contained therein.
He had also sent the same to the Minister and Deputy Minister of Finance to apprise and engage them on the findings and also to request a roadmap on the implementation of the recommendations contained therein.
While this is appreciated and characteristic of inclusive leadership, Ramaphosa needs to listen to the needs of others and release the report, instead of holding the country in abeyance. Members of the Government Employees' Pension Fund are curious to find out what is happening with the governance of the asset manager trusted to invest their monies.
Retired Judge Lex Mpati, assisted by Gill Marcus and Emanuel Lediga, spent 63 days listening to submissions from more than 72 witnesses at the inquiry and spent even more time studying and analysing the evidence; and even asked for at least two extensions on their deadline to ensure they made the correct recommendations.
The commission has been used by certain media to smear some companies and business leaders. It is of utmost importance the report is released so such companies and businesses can clear their names.