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PIC report finds board not up to standard, execs abused positions

The report implicated a number of current and former senior executives in flouting processes when making investment decisions.

The commission of inquiry into the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) got underway on Monday, 21 January 2018. Picture: SABC Digital News/youtube.com

JOHANNESBURG - The commission of inquiry into alleged impropriety at the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) has found that senior executives at the PIC abused their positions of trust and responsibily, victimising employees and contributing to a culture of fear.

President Cyril Ramaphosa set up the inquiry in October 2018 to investigate any impropriety regarding investment decisions and whether this resulted from ineffective governance.

The report implicated a number of current and former senior executives in flouting processes when making investment decisions.

Former PIC CEO Dan Matjila, former CFO Matshepo More and head of HR Chris Pholwane were accused by a number of senior employees of victimisation and intimidation.

The report said that the modus operandi followed by the alleged perpetrators was to make use of a so-called whistleblower report accusing the victim of impropriety. This would then be followed by a disciplinary hearing and an eventual dismissal.

Report of the PIC Commission by Primedia Broadcasting on Scribd

It said that the victims would be told to their faces that they were not wanted or they would be excluded from meetings and incentives.

The commission found that the accused senior members, including former CEO Matjila, contributed to the culuture of fear that existed and that to some extent still exists.

It recommended that the new board address the matter urgently and take corrective measures to rebuild confidence.

It has also been suggested that an internal communication programme be implemented, ensuring awareness among all staff of signs of bullying and abuse of office to intimidate employees.

The Presidency's Khusela Diko added: "The report is available on the Presidency's website and makes a number of detailed findings in various areas relating to the investment decision of the Public Investment Corporation, the allegations of undue benefit, conflict of interest and personal gain in various transactions that were undertaken by the PIC."