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Gigaba, PIC board to meet over SAA bailout reports

It is being reported that the PIC has been asked by Treasury to buy its entire R12 billion stake in Telkom, to pay for a bailout of South African Airways (SAA).

FILE: Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba has called an urgent meeting with the Public Investment Corporation (PIC)'s board to deal with media reports alleging that Treasury wants to use R100 billion of its funds to bail out state-owned enterprises.

It is being reported that the PIC has been asked by Treasury to buy its entire R12 billion stake in Telkom, to pay for a bailout of South African Airways (SAA).

But PIC chief executive officer Daniel Matjila has rejected the request.

Gigaba has strongly denied the media reports around the matter, saying that it is malicious.

Spokesperson Mayihlome Tshwete says that the minister finds these reports malicious and unconstructive.

"The intention of this meeting is to get to the bottom of these reports. When the chairperson of the PIC, deputy minister Sfiso Buthelezi, has communicated with the PIC CEO and the feedback he has gotten is that some of these reports are distorted."

BUTHELEZI BACKS MATJILA

It's being reported that the plot started three months ago as part of attempts by the controversial family to capture the PIC.

Buthelezi is adamant that he's unaware of plans to get rid of Matjila as the CEO of the PIC.

"Suggestions that there’s an attempt to capture or suspend the CEO, I must say it’s preposterous to say the least."

He says he believes PIC board members are men and women of integrity who don't entertain baseless allegations.

"They are professionals. If there are any allegations... people make all sorts of allegations."

Buthelezi, who is also the chairman of the biggest investor in the country, says that Matjila enjoys his fullest support as the CEO of the PIC.

Additional reporting by Thando Khubeka.

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