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Suspended acting PIC CEO More blames Ayo deal on Matjila

She gave details of the controversial R4.3 billion Ayo Technologies deal that's suspected to have been secured through the flouting of procedure.

Suspended acting CEO of the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) Matshepo More. Picture: YouTube screengrab.

JOHANNESBURG - Suspended acting CEO of the Public Investment Corporation Matshepo More said on Tuesday the approval of payment to Ayo Technology by former CEO Dan Matjila was in contravention of the delegation of authority.

More was testifying for a second consecutive day at the PIC inquiry into allegations of impropriety.

She gave details of the controversial R4.3 billion Ayo Technology deal that's suspected to have been secured through the flouting of procedure.

More was suspended in March after allegations that she interfered in an inquiry into impropriety at the fund manager, which was worth R2 trillion.

At the beginning of her testimony, More told the commission that on 19 December when she was asked to sign a disbursement memo in her capacity as chief financial officer, it had already been signed by Matjila and the assistant portfolio manager for listed equities, Victor Seanie.

She said she only realised afterwards that the portfolio management committee had not approved the deal, skipping a step in the process.

More said by the time she took the matter to the committee, she was not aware that an undertaking had already been signed on 14 December.

“That the irrevocable that was signed on 14 December, only went happened in March 2018.”

She said on 20 December, just hours before the committee had the meeting to approve the Ayo deal, Seanie sent her an email that showed the signed undertaking but she did not open the attachment

"I did not open the attachment as the email was not addressed to me and a request to IT was merely an administrative function to grant people with delegate functions access to the system."

More told the commission that shortly after that meeting, she went on maternity leave and was not aware of the undertaking in September the following year.

TRANSACTION NEVER APPROVED BY PMC

Matshepo told the commission that after she was asked to sign a disbursement memo, she realised that the transaction had not been approved by the portfolio management committee (PMC).

She said she immediately took remedial steps to correct the error.

“I then contacted the general manager for finance, Mr Brian Mavuka, informing him not to do anything further in relation to the processing of the disbursement memo until the transaction was duly approved.”

During her testimony, she had multiple clashes with commissioner Gill Marcus on whether she consulted with Matjila before the matter went to the PMC.

Marcus was not satisfied with More's answers and asked the evidence leader advocate Jannie Lubbe to further investigate the matter.

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)

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