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LIVE: ‘I do not see anything unethical about meeting a Cabinet minister’ – Ex-PIC boss
The former PIC CEO will make his sixth appearance before the commission of inquiry on Tuesday.
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Matjila says ministers talk about various things.
Minister Mahlobo in this case asked Matjila to help the businesswomen.
Matjila says on other occasions he has been called by ministers to explain how the PIC works so they can see how their departments can assist in delivering the PIC mandate.
These meetings with ministers in Cabinet are useful fir the PIC to understand what is a priority and where potential opportunities are.
“When a minister calls I will listen. I will give them a hearing to understand what it is what they want to discuss with me.”
Matjila says he met the minister in the boardroom, and two women – one is Pretty Louw – who joined the meeting.
The minister requested the PIC to help the women, who presented the investment proposal and asked the PIC to assist.
Lubbe reminds the commission Matjila said he could not help them and he then called Mulaudzi to assist them.
Matjila reiterated that he talked them through the investment process followed at the PIC – he referred the proposal to the investment team who advised it did not fit the mandate of the PIC.
“The nature of the production was in the production of cosmetics and we felt it would fit well with manufacturing,” Matjila said. They were directed to the IDC for consideration in its black industrialists programme. As women they would have an advantage to benefit from the programme.
In response, Matjila sent an email that he is doubtful the BEE company bidding would have value to add to the transaction due to them not having experience in pharmaceuticals. He said the transaction should be reviewed as there is no money – Lubbe asks Matjila to elaborate.
Matjila says at the time, the GEPF did not approve the additional R70bn in the unlisted investment. Matjila said there is a possibility that the transaction would not be funded- so they would have to look for money or explain to him how it could be funded.
He viewed the transaction as an exchange of ownership as opposed to one that would create new wealth – a concern he raised to his colleagues.
Lubbe points out the transaction was approved and signed off by Matjila in July.
In response Matjila says that the bidders changed their shareholders- including one with experience in health. The new company was presented to the committee for approval.
Matjila says he was satisfied with the new composition of the bidding company.
The meetings deal with the Ascendis Health investment.
The first meeting’s minutes – taken from June – state what the deal is about.
The second meeting’s minutes – taken from January – state it is about the social and economic infrastructure and environmental sustainability fund investment meeting.
According to the documents, it was chaired by PIC board member Ms Zulu.
However Matjila says there was a meeting prior to the meeting in January.
There was a meeting in November – which Matjila notes is much more detailed about the deal.
Lubbe said this meeting as not included as part of evidence in the inquiry.
Matjila cross-examined on merger related to Tosaco deal
Former PIC CEO Dan Matjila said he did not force a merger between two companies seeking funding from the asset manager to pursue a deal in Tosaco Energy.
Matjila appeared before the commission on Monday. The commission, led by Justice Lex Mpati is investigating allegations of wrongdoing at the PIC, which manages R2trn of funds on behalf of more than 1.2 million state workers
Matjila resumed his testimony at 14:15, as the inquiry heard from the Government Employee Pension Fund’s CEO Abel Sithole earlier. Evidence leader Advocate Isaac Monnahela led the cross examination on Matjila’s statements on the Tosaco deal.
Matjila had previously told the inquiry that companies KiliCap and Sakhumnotho were among those that approached the PIC for R1.8bn in funding to secure the Tosaco deal. However, Matjila could not make a decision between the two companies, describing it as “catching a falling knife”. He asserted that the companies decided on their own to merge in order to get funding from the PIC. This is contrary to businessman Lawrence Mulaudzi’s testimony that Matjila forced the merger.
Matjila has denied forcing Mulaudzi and Sipho Mseleku, who represented Sakhumnotho, to merge – even though the commission has learnt that Matjila met with both parties on the same day. What is of most concern to the commission is that following his meeting with Mseleku, Matjila met with Mulaudzi and Mseleku had followed him into the room.