Understaffing putting PIC at risk, says legal exec

Head of legal services at PIC Lindiwe Dlamini detailed how the corporation lost billions of rand after it failed to protect its investment when it bought shares at scandal-hit Steinhoff.

Acting executive head of legal counsel, governance and compliance at PIC Lindiwe Dlamini testifies before Mpati commission on 25 April. Picture: YouTube.

JOHANNESBURG - Acting executive head of legal counsel, governance and compliance at the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) Lindiwe Dlamini said that her department is severely understaffed and needs urgent assistance.

Dlamini detailed how the corporation lost billions of rand after it failed to protect its investment when it bought shares at scandal-hit Steinhoff.

She told the PIC Inquiry that the state-run asset manager is failing to do its work properly because it’s lacking in essential manpower.

Dlamini said on Thursday that while there was money to hire more people, no appointments have been made.

She said that this was putting the work of the R2.2 trillion Government Pension Fund manager at risk.

“Finding ourselves legging, in that we’re entrusting all these transactions to effectively two personnel in the respective spaces, which for me is a serious risk and we have highlighted this.”

Dlamini testified that the PIC lost over R4 billion when Steinhoff collapsed because proper security measures were not followed to protect the corporation’s investment.

She claimed that former CEO Dan Matjila often shut out the legal department when deciding on crucial deals.

Dlamini said, as a result, she doesn't completely know the full risk the PIC is exposed to from the Steinhoff deal.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)