Former Public Investment Corporation (PIC) Chief Executive Officer Dan Matjila has joined several other witnesses, calling for an independent board chair, rather than the deputy finance minister.

Taking the stand at the judicial commission of inquiry into the Public Investment Corporation, he also called for skilled board members.

Matjila has been accused of misuse of funds, intimidation, corruption and careless investment decisions taken during his tenure.

He resigned in November last year.

Matjila’s testimony had a rocky start. His lawyer said some documentation presented by other witnesses were missing and they needed more time to receive them.

Matjila, however, continued, calling for skilled board members and an independent chair.

Matjila said before he joined the PIC in 2003, there was a lack of skilled staff, a poor IT system and no profit and growth in assets.

He testified that under former PIC head Brian Molefe they managed to turn around the corporation.

“The PIC had no staff of its own and that made it difficult to attract high calibre personnel that were capable of managing complex financial instruments to optimise return on investments for depositors.”

Matjila said slow economic growth still had an impact on the PIC’s asset growth. The hearing continues on Tuesday.

– Report by Nothando Magudulela