PIC inquiry to look into governance issues, investment decisions

The Public Investment Corporation (PIC) has been the focus of persistent reports about alleged improprieties and has been linked to dubious investments.

Investment Corporation. Picture: pic.gov.za

CAPE TOWN - President Cyril Ramaphosa has signed-off on a far-reaching judicial commission of inquiry into the Public Investment Corporation (PIC).

The state-owned asset manager has more than R2 trillion under management, including government employees’ pensions.

But for the past two years, the PIC has been the focus of persistent reports about alleged improprieties and has been linked to dubious investments. The conduct of past and present office-bearers and staff, as well as the functioning of its board, has also come under the spotlight.

Headed by former Supreme Court of Appeal president Judge Lex Mpati, the commission will have six months to investigate the allegations and report its findings and recommendations.

Working with retired Judge Lex Mpati, will be former Reserve Bank Governor Gill Marcus and leading investment banker and asset manager Emmanuel Lediga.

Their inquiry into the PIC will look at governance issues, but also a range of investment decisions, whether they were above board and whether they led to anyone unduly benefiting.

The Democratic Alliance’s David Maynier, who has been pushing for greater transparency at the PIC, has welcomed the broad scope of the inquiry.

“There really are few things that are going to terrify the governing party more, than a full-scale, independent inquiry into the PIC.”

While the focus will be on events during 2015 and 2018, the commission can cast its net wider, but must still deliver an interim report by 15 February and its final report by 15 April, just ahead of next year’s elections.

READ: Terms of reference for inquiry into PIC

181018 Pic Probe Tor by Primedia Broadcasting on Scribd

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)