DA seeks answers following PIC's billion rand loss

The PIC lost R99bn within 48 hours of President Jacob Zuma firing former Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene.

FILE: President Jacob Zuma. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - The Democratic Alliance (DA) says more answers are needed about the Public Investment Corporation's (PIC) loss of R99 billion within two days of President Jacob Zuma's decision to fire former Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene in December.

Yesterday, the PIC conceded that it lost R99 billion within two days of Zuma's decision.

Zuma replaced Nene with the relatively unknown African National Congress (ANC) Member of Parliament (MP) Des van Rooyen, in a move that rocked the markets and sent the rand into a nosedive, before putting Pravin Gordhan back in the saddle four days later.

The state-owned PIC manages about R1.8 trillion in assets and invests funds on behalf of government entities, with the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) among its biggest clients.

PIC CEO Dr Daniel Matjila was responding to a question from the DA's David Maynier.

"The PIC eventually conceded that they lost R99 billion within 48 hours of the catastrophic decision by the president."

While the GEPF suffered the biggest losses, Matjila told the committee the UIF lost about R7 billion and the Workers' Compensation Fund about R3 billion.

"The PIC claimed they had clawed back some of the value, but they were not specific about how much. This underlines just how much damage President Jacob Zuma caused to the economy and that he was dead wrong when he said the effect was exaggerated."

Maynier says he'll be asking more questions.