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All PIC board members resign amid inquiry

Their resignations come in the middle of a commission of inquiry into the PIC which is investigating allegations of impropriety and dubious investments.

Picture: pic.gov.za

JOHANNESBURG – The whole board of the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) has handed in their resignations to Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni on Friday afternoon.

The nine board members include Dr Xolani Mkhwanazi, Dudu Hlatshwayo and Sandra Beswick.

In the statement, the group says: “There is clearly a concerted effort to discredit the board of directors to an extent that there cannot be any credibility to the work that is executed in fulfilling its fiduciary responsibilities.”

Board chair Mondli Gungubele has also resigned.

This week the PIC said it would investigate an email sent by a whistleblower which claims that Gungubele and Sibusisiwe Zulu were part of a conspiracy to capture the corporation.

Treasury spokesperson Jabulani Sikhakhane says the current board remains until the interim board is appointed.

“I can confirm that the board wrote to the minister of finance today, asking him to dissolve the board and the minister has begun the process of appointing an interim board. The board came to the conclusion that the credibility of the institution was at stake and, therefore, the current board could not continue.”

Their resignations come in the middle of a commission of inquiry into the PIC which is investigating allegations of impropriety and dubious investments.

The PIC has nearly R2 trillion of civil servants’ pensions under its custody and is Africa’s biggest pension fund.

Earlier this week, the state-owned pension fund did not disclose the new allegations, which come as a judicial inquiry into the firm continued to hear evidence from its staff members.

It said the PIC’s acting CEO Matshepo More and two board members were implicated but did not name them. Reuters has not seen the email.

Gungubele later issued a statement saying he was one of those facing allegations, and welcoming the opportunity to clear his name.

“I am confident that I have done nothing wrong,” he said.

The third board member named in the anonymous whistleblower’s email is Sibusisiwe Zulu, the PIC’s deputy chairman Mkhwanazi told Reuters.

Additional reporting Reuters.