PIC Commission of Inquiry Chairperson Justice Lex Mpati during the PIC commission of Inquiry at Sammy Marks Square. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)
Pretoria - As the commission of Inquiry into allegations of impropriety at the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) resumes this week, the Public Servants Association (PSA) says it expects retired Judge Lex Mpati and his team to deal with its list of grievances.

The public service trade union, which has invested pensions funds with the PIC, is upset over the manner in which the commission has handled proceedings over the last few months.

The union wrote a letter to Judge Mpati questioning why only a select portion of companies had been called to account over investments with the state-owned asset manager, while others who have been fingered in dealings with the PIC have still not been asked to respond to questions before the commission, which is expected to present a report to President Cyril Ramaphosa at the end of this month.

“They will have to start working. Time is running out for them. We need each and every company to state its case and we won’t rest until this happens,” PSA general-secretary Ivan Fredericks said.

He added that the commission had in the meantime responded, saying it was looking to call out more companies over the next few weeks, but Fredericks said this should have been done already.

The PSA has also raised alarm at revelations that the commission’s embattled evidence leader, advocate Jannie Lubbe, had insistently singled out nine black-owned firms - which include Sagamartha and ICT company AYO Technology, which are part of the African Equity Empowerment Investments Group of Dr Iqbal Survé.

Lubbe has since denied this, saying he had over time also included white-owned companies such as Steinhoff, Ascendis Health and Grit among others, on his list.

Despite this, the PSA said the Mpati Commission had to deal decisively with such matters.

“It should be known that we are here to protect the hard-earned pension money of workers and will do anything to ensure that whatever transpires at the commission is done above the law,” Fredericks said, adding that the PSA was ready to take the stand and make its submissions before the commission when necessary.

Suspended PIC chief executive Matshepo More has made her submission that she did not play a role in the approval of the R4.3billion investment deal between the PIC and Ayo.

Survé made his submission in April and said real economic wealth in SA remained in white control.

It remains to be seen who will be called to testify this week as witnesses are generally not announced in advance.

Politics and Development