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Leaked WhatsApps reveal how access to PIC execs may have led to dodgy deals

The PIC, entirely owned by government, is the largest investor on the continent and manages government pension and other funds.

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

JOHANNESBURG - Leaked WhatsApp messages revealed how special access to Public Investment Corporation (PIC) executives may have facilitated questionable deals.

An investigation by Amabhungane exposed how a little-known businessman, Lawrence Mulaudzi, allegedly gained an inside track with the PIC and its former chief executive Dan Matjila setting his sights on becoming a billionaire with pensioner's money.

The PIC, entirely owned by government, is the largest investor on the continent and manages government pension and other funds.

An inquiry chaired by Justice Lex Mpati is investigating allegations of impropriety and dubious investments.

Text and WhatsApp messages obtained by Amabhungane revealed how Mulaudzi apparently confidently expected the PIC to fund much of his acquisition trail.

The messages, which were over a period of about six months between 2016 and 2017, showed how Mulaudzi co-opted and curried favour with key decision makers at the PIC, including its former head Matjila.

It's alleged Matjila asked the businessman to “help” buy a table at an African National Congress gala dinner.

The corporation's former head of risk management Paul Magula was also fingered in the alleged corruption.

Magula's front company apparently received shares and kickbacks from Mulaudzi's funded deals.

These were some of the allegations submitted as evidence to the PIC inquiry by United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa, who for years, called for an investigation into allegations of corruption at the PIC.