21 January 2019

South Africa: We Saw No Impropriety - PIC Executives

analysis

The Public Investment Corporation inquiry kicked off with two executives saying they witnessed no legal breaches -- or employees acting for their own personal benefit.

The commission of inquiry into the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) started in Pretoria on Monday with officials from the country's largest asset manager outlining its responsibilities and regulatory framework -- and two leading executives denying they had witnessed impropriety as alleged in 2017 and 2018.

PIC executive head of impact investing Roy Rajdhar and executive head of research and project development Sholto Dolamo were asked by inquiry evidence leader Jannie Lubbe SC whether they witnessed any contravention of legislation or any official acting to enrich themselves or improperly benefit another person.

"Mr Commissioner, no I'm not aware of any such impropriety," said Rajdhar. Dolamo also denied knowledge of the unlawful activity.

President Cyril Ramaphosa established the inquiry, chaired by former Supreme Court of Appeal president Judge Lex Mpati' in October 2017 to investigate a range of allegations against the asset manager.

The first witness, acting PIC secretary Wilna Louw, explained how the institution is entwined with the South African economy.

"Given the size of the PIC's assets under management, South Africa's GDP growth is critical...

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