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Matjila may have cost PIC R100m with Steinhoff deal, report finds

The report, released by President Cyril Ramaphosa, has detailed questionable deals worth billions of rands and the flouting of processes to secure them.

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

JOHANNESBURG – The report into the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) has revealed that former chief executive officer Dan Matjila may have cost the PIC over R100 million in a deal with Steinhoff.

The report, released by President Cyril Ramaphosa, has detailed questionable deals worth billions of rand and the flouting of process to secure them. The report of over 900 pages’ details how there was impropriety at the PIC, poor and ineffective governance, inadequate oversight and a disregard for due process.

Ramaphosa has handed the report over to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and other law enforcement agencies for possible prosecution.

The report detailed how the PIC acquired 2.75% of Steinhoff shares amounting to R9.3 billion.

This deal was underwritten by the Lancaster Group which was paid an addition R114 million.

The commission questioned why Lancaster had to be involved in the acquisition, as the PIC could have bought the shares on its own.

It also emerged at the commission that Matjila reduced the percentage and the amount to spend on the shares in order to be able to approve the transaction.

Report of the PIC Commission by Primedia Broadcasting on Scribd

The commission said that this may indicate collusion between Matjila and Lancaster and its owner Jayendra Naidoo.

The commission has recommended that the PIC's decision making policies be amended to require the board to approve any amendments to proposals which initially required the board's approval.

MATJILA PROBE

The commission of inquiry into the PIC also recommended that there should be a further probe intoMatjila's honesty and integrity and a review of existing policies at the corporation.

Matjila was the key individual in the pension fund manager as the transactions that were investigated took place under his watch.

As the main figure in the PIC, many of the findings in this report pointed to Matjila's conduct.

The commission found that he was complicit in questionable investment decisions that later cost the PIC billions.

It has also recommended that an investigation should be launched into whether he should be held personally liable for some of the losses.

Now Matjila's conduct must be tested against the financial advisory and Intermediary Services Act, as a worker in financial services.

Despite clear evidence that Matjila had colluded with certain individuals, like controversial businessman Iqbal Surve, the report said there was no evidence that the impropriety at the PIC resulted in undue benefit for any PIC director.