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PIC accused of rewarding cover-ups

Employees allegedly received higher salaries and bonuses to cover PIC’s culture of mismanagement and corruption over the years.

South Africa’s Public Investment Corp. rewarded employees with extra pay and bonuses for helping to cover up a culture of mismanagement and corruption at Africa’s biggest money manager, according to the former chief technology officer.

While some dysfunction at the top of the PIC dates back to before departed Chief Executive Officer Daniel Matjila succeeded Elias Masilela more than four years ago, the situation got worse afterwards, Luyanda Ntuane said on Tuesday in the capital, Pretoria as he testified at an ongoing commission of inquiry.

Read: Friction at PIC dates back 4 years 

The PIC, which has assets of more than R2 trillion ($141 billion) and manages South African government-worker pension funds, is increasingly under the spotlight as board members, managers and other workers come to testify at the inquiry. Tension at the top came to a head last month when nine directors resigned en masse, including Chairman Mondli Gungubele, who is also the country’s deputy finance minister.

“I believe the commission must investigate and look into the payroll of the PIC and note the changes in salaries and bonus payouts over the years,” said Ntuane, who was one of six executive committee members. “Some of the employees have enjoyed this growth in salaries, but equally know that the context under which they were applied was usually to hide the true beneficiaries of the increases.”

The PIC is accused of making suspect decisions over how to invest pensioner funds, including in the bonds of state utility Eskom and the shares of Ayo Technology Solutions. The latter is being investigated by South Africa’s Financial Sector Conduct Authority for market manipulation.

In the three and a half years Ntuane worked at PIC, he said the restructuring of departments at least five times were used to justify increases. He described how the salaries of some newly graduated employees would more than double before they had gone through a single review period and how there were instances where workers that were toeing the line would end up earning more than their managers.

Division, distrust

Ntuane’s testimony follows that of several other former PIC employees, who have told the inquiry of long-term friction, division and distrust. When Matjila took over as CEO, he swiftly made changes to the way the executive committee was structured and this resulted in Ntuane reporting to current acting chief executive Matshepo More, who was the chief financial officer at the time. More saw herself as indispensable and ignored all recommendations he made, Ntuane said.

Ntuane was suspended after being accused by an unnamed whistle-blower of sexual harassment and procurement irregularities and left the PIC in May 2016. Matjila and other executives deny wrongdoing.

A former IT security manager also told the commission on Tuesday that he is still giving police documents on deals involving the asset manager. Simphiwe Mayisela approached the police in 2017 after he was tasked with establishing the identity of a whistle-blower that had made allegations against Matjila. Mayisela, who broke down and sobbed during his testimony, worked for the PIC for less than three months before being suspended.

On Monday the commission of inquiry was told that the PIC board appointed auditors at Deloitte in 2013 to review working conditions because of mounting tensions in various sub-committees and the executive committee.

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Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Motsepe is using the pic to fund many of his ventures, he seems to get preferential treatment because Cyril and Radebe are his brothers’ in law.
The anc certainly have learnt the Russian oligarch system well.
Keep the poor and stupid happy with grants and money babies and cheap booze and just keep pigging out at the trough, OINK OINK.

There are no holy cows for the ANC cadres. Not the Robben Island Museum, nor Eskom nor the government employees’ own pension funds. It’s a free for all and everything is fair game. “Fear of missing out” is probably the no 1 condition for which psychologists treat those high up in the party ranks. Not to mention the sleepless nights about the fact that someone else is stealing more than they are.

The ANC corruption has permeated and destroyed everything it touched. Truly disgusting. And they all were too happy to share the spoils. Nobody said a thing. Pointless commenting about this in any case because nobody has ever been held accountable. Or will be.

Shocking – So will there be salary reviews and skills audits? Probably not… Overpaid, overstaffed fat cats

The critical and essential importance of values and ethics has to be central to any business – the only way for a business to be sustainable in the longer term, and treat its clients fairly. A massive failing here it seems..

It figures as the ANC always reward the corrupt within its ranks.

From what we have heard over the years the FSB, now FSCA has also been beset with ‘management issues’ and a “toxic environment”, and they never seem to be on the front foot when it comes to financial protection of our citizens – still trying to figure out who Mr Steinhoff is – I have more faith in the German authorities bringing that to book.

Wonder when we will hear of the Commission of enquiry into the FSCA….

Oh sorry I forgot, they fined James Gubb for his ingenious work, but the CFA Institute found him to be compliant.

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