Suspended PIC exec blames ex-CEO Dan Matjila for controversial Ayo transaction

The PIC’s R4.3 billion investment in Ayo is just one of the transactions being scrutinised at the commission.

A screengrab of Vic Seanie appearing at the PIC Inquiry on 30 January 2019.

JOHANNESBURG - Recently suspended PIC employee Victor Seanie has largely blamed the controversial Ayo transaction on former CEO Dan Matjila.

Seanie, an assistant portfolio manager, was encouraged to approach the PIC commission of inquiry after his suspension last week.

WATCH: Suspended PIC exec Victor Seanie gives evidence at inquiry

The PIC’s R4.3 billion investment in Ayo is just one of the transactions being scrutinised at the commission.

Seanie was suspended last week, along with his colleague Fidelis Madavo, who has already testified at this commission.

Seanie believes his suspension is unfair.

“This was very unexpected as I am a very small player in the bigger scheme of things at the PIC and in respect of the Ayo transaction.”

He says he raised his concerns about the risks of investing in Ayo with such a high share price, but he was ignored.

Seanie says former CEO Matjila used his authority to sign off on the deal against his advice.

Seanie explains: “In an informal meeting I attended, around the day the agreement was signed, Dr Dan said, and I’m paraphrasing: ‘I will use my authority as CEO to sign the Ayo subscription agreement and have the decision ratified at the next PIC meeting.’”

The investment in Iqbal Surve's Ayo technologies company by the PIC has been flagged as dubious for some time, due to a high valuation placed on the stock at its listing.

It has become one of the focus points at the PIC commission of inquiry.

Seanie also says Matjila and Survé, who owns Ayo, are friends.

Seanie says the transaction was a foregone conclusion and there was no room for negotiation on the share price as Ayo approached the PIC with a fixed R43 per share.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)