PIC report implicates officials in alleged corruption, says Ramaphosa

Cyril Ramaphosa
Cyril Ramaphosa
Image: Moeletsi Mabe

The commission of inquiry into the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) has made detailed findings against some current and former members of Africa’s biggest asset manager, including allegations of corruption, President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced.

“The commission implicates a number of individuals in wrongdoing,” Ramaphosa, who  released the report on Thursday afternoon, said.

The report  will be handed over to the National Prosecuting Authority and other authorities for further action.

“The commission gave relevant persons the opportunity to be heard at the hearings it held,” the president said.

“Any follow-up investigations, based on the recommendations made, will follow due process and therefore give them further opportunity to be heard before any steps are taken against them.”

“The commission largely attributes improprieties to the PIC senior management for failure to manage decision-making in a professional and honest manner, and failure to abide by due processes and relevant prescripts.

“The commission shows that the impropriety was worsened by the fact that the PIC board was not functioning well, and board involvement in investment decisions compromised their ability to exercise oversight over the PIC.”

The commission was appointed by Ramaphosa in October 2018.

It was led by Lex Mpati, the former president of the Supreme Court of Appeal, who was assisted by former Reserve Bank governor Gill Marcus and asset manager Emmanuel Lediga.

The commission was mandated to look into whether directors or employees of the PIC misused their position for personal gain; whether legislation or policies regarding the protection of whistle-blowers reporting corrupt activities were complied with; and whether discriminatory practices were followed with regard to the remuneration and performance awards of PIC employees.

It had the mandate to examine and make recommendations with regard to governance, the structure of the PIC and any other matter it deemed warranted attention.

The final report was handed to the president in December.

Ramaphosa said the commission made recommendations that required urgent attention and action by different state institutions, including the criminal justice system, the Treasury and the reconstituted PIC board.

“The commission suggests that parties or former parties could have contravened laws dealing with issues such as corruption and bribery, protected disclosures, electronic interceptions and sections of the Companies Act.

“Criminal matters will be referred to the relevant authorities,” Ramaphosa said. — BusinessLIVE


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