Matjila denies PIC-Sekunjalo deals were based on friendship

Dr Dan Matjila
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Former Public Investment Corporation CEO Dr Dan Matjila has denied reports that the dealings with Sekunjalo group of companies are because of his friendship with Dr Iqbal Survé.

Matjila told the commission that the continuous engagement with Dr Survé was because, together with his colleagues, they were concerned about PIC’s exposure to high risk.

PIC transactions with the Sekunjalo group companies were under the spotlight at the Commission of Inquiry into allegations for impropriety regarding Public Investment Corporation.

Matjila says he needed to be closely involved with major players to be able to assess the situation.

The PIC invested R4.3 billion in Ayo Technology, in a controversial deal clouded by reports of overvaluation and flouting of PIC procedures.

Matjila argues that when Sekunjalo sent the investment proposal to PIC, he saw Ayo as strategic for the PIC as it gave PIC exposure to the growing ICT sector and it being black-owned made it more attractive.

Matjila says the decision to sign Ayo Technology irrevocable subscription before a PMC meeting was that of Lebogang Molebatsi, who was acting as head of Listed Investments. He denies putting pressure on subordinates to pass the Ayo deal.

Matjila rejects the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) view that PIC should have informed them when considering the investment into Ayo Technology.

Sargamatha deal

The Commission also heard about another Sekunjalo group company, Sargamatha. Sagarmatha was proposed to the PIC as an exit strategy from Independent Media.

The newly formed company was supposed to list on the JSE, Hong Kong and New York Stock Exchange.

Sagarmatha pre-listing statement gave a listing price of R39.62, while PIC analysts valued the shares at R7.06 per share.

Sagarmatha listing was withdrawn by the JSE, citing non-compliance with the Companies Act.