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Mboweni wanted PIC board to resign or be fired, inquiry told

PIC board member Dudu Hlatshwayo says the message from Minister Tito Mboweni was given to the board on Friday 1 February and they obeyed.

A screengrab of non-executive PIC director Dudu Hlatshwayo appearing at the PIC inquiry on 26 February 2019.

JOHANNESBURG - Public Investment Corporation (PIC) board member Dudu Hlatshwayo says chairman Mondli Gungubele told the board that the finance minister wanted everyone to step down or they would be fired.

Hlatshwayo says the message was given to the board on Friday 1 February after which all members including Gungubele then handed in their resignation letters.

Hlatshwayo is testifying before the PIC inquiry which is investigating allegations of impropriety at the corporation.

She says during a board meeting on the Friday in question, Gungubele left the room to take a call from Finance Minister Tito Mboweni.

When he returned, he said he had an announcement to make which would change everything.

Hlatshwayo says the board was shocked and confused but they all obliged by resigning.

The following Monday there was no word about a new board and to date, Mboweni has not yet appointed one.

Gungubele testified at the PIC inquiry on Monday and made no mention of this instruction from the minister.

AYO INVESTMENT

The PIC says its lawyers are currently drafting a response to the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) regarding the request to recoup the R4.3 billion invested in Ayo Technologies, the company that Iqbal Survé holds a large indirect stake in.

The PIC’s company secretary Wilna Louw told the commission of inquiry on Tuesday afternoon that they had received a compliance notice to recover the money, but they were already dealing with the matter.

The controversial investment is being scrutinised at the inquiry due to the high valuation of Ayo, and because those involved in signing off the deal have been accused of failing when it came to due diligence.

Louw says she can’t say much else at this point about the PIC’s strategy.

“The notice was immediately forwarded to our lawyers, to attend to it and assist PIC in drafting a response to CIPC. The lawyers are working on the response.”

She told the commission of inquiry that they still need to respond to this notice.

“The lawyers are working on a response. The attorneys asked me not to mention anything more in relation to Ayo transaction, as it might jeopardise PIC strategy.”

AYO UNAWARE OF REQUEST TO RECOUP BILLIONS

Ayo Technologies says CIPC has acted irresponsibly by failing to inform it about a request for the PIC to recoup billions of rands.

Ayo says it was not made aware of this action and wants to discuss the matter with the CIPC.

It has released a statement saying its perturbed to learn through a newspaper that the money invested in the company by the PIC is now to be recovered.

Ayo says by failing to inform the company of this action, the CIPC has acted contrary to the provisions of the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act.

Ayo goes further to say that if the CIPC is being quoted correctly, it’s not applied its mind to the matter and it's a gross injustice.

WATCH: PIC director Dudu Hlatshwayo testifies at inquiry

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