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Suspended PIC CEO Matshepo More denies interference with commission

Matshepo More's testimony got off to a slow start on Monday morning, with commissioners questioning her on her role at the PIC, its memorandums of incorporation and the power dynamics during her time.

Matshepo More. Picture: thedti.gov.za

JOHANNESBURG - Suspended acting CEO of the Public Investment Corporation Matshepo More has categorically denied having interfered in the work of the commission into the PIC.

More took the stand on Monday at the inquiry into impropriety at the PIC.

She was appointed acting CEO at the end of the last year after her controversial predecessor, Dan Matjila, was sacked. But her stint was short lived as she was suspended in March this year, after allegations she interfered in an inquiry into impropriety at the fund manager, which is worth R2 trillion.

More's testimony got off to a slow start on Monday morning, with commissioners questioning her on her role at the PIC, its memorandums of incorporation and the power dynamics at the corporation during her time.

She listed for the commission the specific areas her testimony would cover. Chief of these were the allegations that she interfered with the work of the commission.

“I categorically deny that I have done anything that interfered with or has the effect of interfering with the work of the commission.”

She sought to outline what happened before she was placed on precautionary suspension.

“On 8 March 2019 Ms Lindiwe Dlamini, acting executive head of legal, and I reported to the board of directors of the PIC that there were some staff members who indicated that the investigators of the commission requested them to provide statements in [Microsoft] Word and that they were not comfortable with this request.”

More said all she did was propose to the board to appoint an external legal firm to assist employees on a voluntary basis in preparing their statements for the commission.

'TWO CENTERS OF POWER'

More also told the inquiry that during her time as CFO of the PIC, there were only two executive directors at the corporation.

Former Reserve Bank governor Jill Marcus, questioned whether there were two centres of power during More's time as CFO.

“You then have, as I understand, your structure. As we’ve seen in the evidence before us, you’ve got your executive heads, but you’ve got two centres of power, the CEO and the CFO. That has come through completely.”

But More insisted that despite the structure at the time, she and Matjila had no unfair advantage.

“The CEO is the accounting officer. Let’s go back to the sentence on power. I’ll use demonstrations of committees. No committee, specifically the management committee, could make a decision that stipulated that either myself or the CEO had a veto ticket. So, if we said ‘no,’ this didn’t mean something would not happen.”

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