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PIC commission can't ignore racism claims against evidence leader - analysts

Legal expert Advocate Mahlodi Muofhe said that the allegations need to be thoroughly tested by the commission before any action is taken against Advocate Jannie Lubbe.

A screengrab of Advocate Jannie Lubbe at the PIC Commission on 25 June 2019.

JOHANNESBURG - Analysts say the PIC Commission cannot ignore allegations of racism and interference against its evidence leader.

Advocate Jannie Lubbe has been making headlines for the wrong reasons as the probe into allegations of impropriety at the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) enters its seventh month.

Last week, former PIC CEO Matshepo More told the commission that Lubbe said he was giving her fatherly advice when he told her to approach the minister for special leave before she could be suspended.

On Friday, Business Report claimed to have proof that Lubbe prejudiced black-owned companies in his work for the commission.

According to Business Report, Lubbe said it was factually incorrect that he singled out nine black-owned firms in his investigation.

He also reportedly said that he later added other mostly white-owned companies such as Steinhoff but did not say why they were initially excluded.

The Independent group newspaper is owned by controversial businessman Iqbal Surve's Sekunjalo Investment Holdings.

Political analyst Xolani Dube said that the allegations against Lubbe should not be taken lightly.

"At the end of the day, it might have a serious impact and serious repercussions on the immaculate conduct of this inquiry."

Legal expert Advocate Mahlodi Muofhe said that the allegations need to be thoroughly tested by the commission before any action is taken against Lubbe.

"The commissioners in any commission have the task to evaluate every piece of information before them objectively."

EWN has tried to get comment from the commission, which said that it should respond sometime on Monday.