Matjila says Steinhoff investment losses are ‘regrettable’

Dr Dan Matjila
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Former Public Investment Corporation (PIC) CEO Dan Matjila told the PIC Commission that the losses incurred through the Corporation’s investment in Steinhoff were significant and deeply regrettable. He says he takes full responsibility for the losses as he was at the helm of the organisation during the time of the investment.

In 2016, the PIC funded Lancaster 101 to the tune of R9.4 billion to buy Steinhoff shares equaling to 2.75% of the company. The transaction was facilitated by former trade unionist Jayendra Naidoo.

Matjila says Steinhoff was considered a sound investment, but there were concerns over governance. He says the PIC had intended to use its increased shareholding in Steinhoff to address its concerns.

However, Steinhoff’s share price plunged when its CEO Markus Jooste abruptly stepped down after auditors flagged accounting irregularities in its financial documents.

Matjila was asked about his conduct following allegations that ANC Treasurer asked him to request funding from business people to fund the party’s 8th January 2016 event. It also emerged that he also forwarded a similar request for funding to business people for the 12th annual conference of Cosatu.

He was also asked about a meeting he had with former intelligence minister David Mahlobo at the OR Tambo International Airport where he was asked to help two businesswomen. Matjila said he did not see it as improper to send out requests for funding from political parties to business people assisted by the PIC and to have meetings with Cabinet ministers.

Matjila continues his testimony on Wednesday, when he will deal with issues around VBS Mutual Bank, SA Homeloans, Daybreak Farms and Ecobank.