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Matjila tells PIC inquiry Edcon deal was partly why he was axed

Dan Matjila has been testifying at the inquiry into impropriety at the PIC this week. He’s giving his version of events on deals at the PIC during his term.

Former Public Investment Corporation (PIC) CEO Dan Matjila appearing at the commission of inquiry into the PIC on 8 July 2019. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – Former Public Investment Corporation (PIC) CEO Dan Matjila said that part of the reason he was removed from office was to ensure the Edcon deal went ahead before the elections.

Matjila has been testifying at the inquiry into impropriety at the PIC this week. He’s giving his version of events on deals at the PIC during his term.

He told the commission that politicians thought the PIC was a piggy bank they could always draw from.

Matjila said that a meeting was called in November 2018 by the chairman of the board Mondli Gungubele. In attendance were Economic Development Minister Ibrahim Patel, the Edcon CEO and advisors of the retailer lead by Martin Kingston.

He said his team did not support the proposals made.

“Jobs are important but it’s also about producing the right returns. So, the reason why we say it didn’t meet the mandate were on the return side. The social impact, we could see it was huge but what made us not to move quickly was because the returns were not in line with the mandate returns.”

But commissioner Gill Marcus wanted to know why comparing it to the AfriSam deal that needed more money and had fewer jobs at stake.

“The economy is not doing well.”

Matjila said that at the end of the meeting he was told that the board led by Gungubele had decided to accept his resignation with immediate effect but he did not accept their decision as it was contrary to his employment contract.

He said he was certain that the Edcon deal was the vehicle to his exit.

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