Matjila was ‘desperate’ to have R4.3bn Ayo deal approved

On Monday, former PIC executive Paul Magula testified at the PIC commission of inquiry about Dan Matjila’s involvement in the dodgy investment in Ayo Technology Solutions.

FILE: Former Public Investment Corporation (PIC) CEO Dan Matjila. Picture: Public Investment Corporation.

JOHANNESBURG - Former Public Investment Corporation (PIC) executive Paul Magula has revealed that ex-CEO Dan Matjila was so desperate to go ahead with the controversial Ayo Technology Solutions transaction that he came back from leave to approve it.

Magula was fired last year for poor performance and the collapse of VBS Mutual Bank.

On Monday, he testified at the PIC commission of inquiry about Matjila’s involvement in the dodgy R4.3 billion investment in Ayo Technology Solutions.

Magula said investment decisions were not based on rational interrogation and committees only existed to rubber stamp CEO and CFO decisions.

“The CEO was so desperate to have the transaction done to a point that he had to come back from leave to force the meeting to happen to approve the transaction. The question that comes forth with regards to this is, why this desperation even when the senior members of the sanctioning committee were not available?”

Magula denied claims that he participated in illegal activities while he was a board member at VBS Mutual Bank.

He told the commission that as a former board member at VBS bank representing the PIC there was no way he could have known what was happening at the bank.

Magula said up to R500 million was lost as a result of the PIC investing in VBS but he defended his involvement, saying he only became aware of issues like fictitious deposits and fraudulent withdrawals when he was before the Prudential Authority’s forensic investigators.

He said he knows that there were ongoing criminal investigations and that they are at an advanced stage, but he wants to use this opportunity to clear his name at the PIC commission of inquiry.

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)