Sekunjalo Group slams Mpati PIC investigation for ’unfounded’ allegations
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Cape Town - Sekunjalo Investment Holdings has slammed sections of the Mpati Commission report which implied improper conduct by the group despite no adverse findings or evidence being presented to support this.
The Mpati report was released last year following an investigation into the business practises at the Public Investment Corporation (PIC).
The Sekunjalo group believes there were numerous unfounded statements made in the report which has negatively painted the group and its companies.
In a presentation to Parliament's standing committee on finance, advocate Wallace Mgoqi put a case on various statements made in the report which have left allegations hanging against the Sekunjalo group.
“The Commission made findings without supporting evidence. While the Commission made no adverse findings against any entity within the broader Sekunjalo Group, there were statements in the report which implied improper conduct or wrongdoing with no supporting evidence in the body of the report.
“The Commission ultimately perpetuated an unsubstantiated narrative that was intended to harm the Sekunjalo Group, Ayo Technology Solutions, Independent Media, Sagarmatha Technologies and every other company within the Sekunjalo Group,“ Mgoqi said.
These are the statements, in the Mpati report, that the Sekunjalo group found an issue with:
* “The Ayo transaction demonstrates the malfeasance of the Sekunjalo Group" -
Mgoqi said: “No evidence leading to the inclusion of this sentence in the report. No irregularity shown in the report, therefore, no basis for using the term. The term ’Malfeasance’ seems to have been an afterthought and was maliciously added to inflict damage to the Group. It is defamatory and contradictory as there are no adverse findings against Sekunjalo.“
* “Regardless of this non-servicing of the debt, which amounts to around R1.5 billion, the PIC continued to invest in Premier Fishing, Ayo and almost in Sagarmatha”;
Mgoqi said: “This reference is false. At the time of the Premier Fishing and Brands and Ayo listings, no loans were due or overdue to the PIC/ GEPF. Independent Media’s loans were only due as of August 2018, yet Premier Fishing listed in February 2017 and Ayo in December 2017. In addition, the PIC was in discussions with the Sekunjalo Group on an exit strategy for its investment in Independent Media well before the Independent Media loans became due.”
* “The Sekunjalo Group influenced companies in which it had invested to support Independent Media – Media allegations” the report stated.
Mgoqi said this reference was partially true. "The Sekunjalo Group is well within its rights, legally, ethically and morally considering the mass unemployment in South Africa to support investments in the group as a means of social good and good business sense.“
Mgoqi also denied the Sekunjalo's board was not independent and that the PIC had been involved in appointing board members.
Earlier, Dr Iqbal Survé, chairman of the Sekunjalo Investment Holdings, told the committee the company had been targeted in the Mpati’s investigation into the PIC.
He said other companies the PIC had invested in and had made losses, were never subjected to investigations.