The PIC Commission resumes

by: SABC Digital News

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[2.57]
all right welcome back everybody so the public investment Corporation Commission of the P I see resumes today after a two-week break and before it's adjournment the Commission heard evidence from the SP IC senior management that they went ahead and invested in the IO deal despite the advice that the valuations were far too high and the decision to invest was not a prudent one in his testimony suspended p IC assistant portfolio manager victor siani it said that this seemed to be because of a perceived personal relationship between the former expelled survey and dan machida but to unpack this all for us we've got in studio nan Seba of course she's an S ABC econ journalist and anchor who's been reporting on the commission since its inception good to see you welcome thanks Leanne so we're picking up today any idea where we'll pick up from well I suspect there'll be a continuation of more staff members I mean Lex and party who's the chair of the Commission he's been calling out for people more people to come to the Commission to give testimony so it may well be that in the interim while the Commission has been on the break it's had more submissions and there'll be more testimony so I'm expecting that they'll continue listening to staff members within the organization but they're also external people who are expected to come udm leader bun to hollow mesa he has been very vocal so he may well turn up there I also saw an article yesterday which suggested that Dan mochila who's the former CEO at PRC indicated that the Commission has called him to come on board and it'd be interesting to see what you know what he has to say because a lot of the allegations are focused on him yeah so I mean there's no telling who we're gonna kick off with today that's correct so it's kind of just you wait and see and then we see what the revelation yeah quite interesting though I mean a lot has been said at this inquiry so far or I'm not it got a commission of inquiry and I know we've got to get these right because they're all different we've seen members of staff executives in the company former board members Naledi advisory services forensic investigations so we see a lot going down there but for you what's really been telling what would have been your highlight so far well it was interesting because initially at the beginning there were a lot of executive heads of different departments so there was the executive head of listed investments Fidelma Davo who's one of the people who were suspended by the PRC board he gave testimony going through the motions of what you know what the processes are at the P IC and so on and the other executive heads did so as well but I think what was very interesting was after Viktor Sienese testimony when the Commission had its break its three-week break it was only a few days later that the board of the P IC all decided in total to hand in their resignation they formally tended their resignation to Teton Bo any the finance minister but they're still in place until such time he finds a new board several weeks ago we were told that the minister would be finding a new board within a week I mean where do you find a new board within a week that hasn't changed so if the situation is somewhat in limbo because you still have a board there that technically doesn't want to be there because you know they they've resigned yeah I mean do you think that the commissioners getting to the gist of things because I know they're under very tight time constraints as we were talking or fair I mean this has to be the fine he's got to be in by the 15th of April yeah so basically they need to submit their recommendations and their findings by the 15th of April you think about Italy and that's very tight as you say they were also supposed to submit an interim report on the 15th of February and my understanding is that they did that they handed that to the president around that time that hasn't been made public unlike the Czar's 1 you'll remember when that was released soon thereafter the president decided to take action actually fire Tom moyano who was the Commissioner of czars but he hasn't released that report and they seem to be you know keeping up with time but depending on the number of submissions that they've got in the interim they may well not have time apparently that decision would lay with the president if there were to be an extension but it seems as though they need to be done by the 15th of April interesting I want to go back to what you were talking about earlier was victus Yanni's evidence now I mean I suppose the question is how damning is it when he was saying that the CEO former CEO Dan moschella was forced to invest with IO carelessly risking public funds and this all because of a personal relationship and an alleged relationship with he well so there that young man his evidence was it blew everything out of the water everybody else came out with you know their evidence and it was very sort of run-of-the-mill kind of evidence about processes and procedures but when they were asked directly do you believe that there was any impropriety at the PRC most of them said actually no yeah right but this guy he just he just went all out and told it the way he saw it and he was fearless and one of the things that he raised is that he's the person that comes into contact with potential investments he then evaluates those investments I mean he's a chartered accountant he's a chartered financial analyst highly qualified he's been in the in the area for 10 years and he gives advice to the portfolio manager as to whether this is a worthwhile investment to pursue he gives a valuation on it etc etc but one of the things that he noted was that his valuations and his recommendations and his conclusions can actually be fiddled around with by his seniors he has no control over those whatsoever so in other words they can go directly and contradict that which he has suggested which is problematic because why is he there in the first place yeah so and that's what he says was done with the IO deal he basically he gave it a very low valuation indeed and he said that's not the only deal there are other deals particularly pertaining on the African continent where you know they just ran over his head and made their own decisions so what's the point that was quite damning yeah I can imagine but some of the things and when you read media reports and there's a there's a concern that the Commission has ignored the fact that the p IC board was fired Prime Minister Tito Ambani a few weeks ago after a showdown with his deputy Munday Ganga Bela at the ANC NEC meeting this seems to has not been sort of taken center stage much hazard well if you remember Emily and what happened was the Commission went to recess yeah before the board resign okay okay so when the when the Commission resumes today that is not going to be escapable they will definitely speak to it but it will be interesting because they don't give any conclusions and they sort of grandstanding I suppose I don't know I don't know yeah I don't know and it's not clear why the board decided to make this the decision that it made but in the meantime a pivotal organization that manages the funds of government employees managing over two trillion rand is functioning with a board that technically doesn't want to be there and that's problematic and then the minions on the ground the via the victor Sein is on the ground who are trying to make the right calls they get overridden and to the detriment of investors or to the detriment of government employees apparently the P I see invested four point three billion rand in the twenty nine percent stake in IO and now that's worth a fraction thereof and they've had to make writedowns on that particular investment now it's okay for the pensioner who's the government and pensioner who's going to get their pension because they've got a defined benefit they guaranteed that money but the negative thing is that at the end of the day if the P I see makes wrong calls it's us the taxpayer who have to fit the bill so that's why it's so important yeah I just want touch on one other issue former board member Claudia Manning in her testimony said she resigned because she didn't approve of the way the new chair deputy finance minister Mundi Ganga Bella's treatment of the CEO dan mochila was what did you make of that that that was such a puzzling piece of evidence I must say she was very articulate you can see this lady's very qualified you know they reeled off all our qualifications very proper lady seemingly and she did indicate that when allegations were made about Dan moschella asking somebody who had been funded that by the pic2 lend or give money to somebody else the board took issue with him to say that's not proper behavior so she did actually you know flag the fact that he did something that the board didn't approve of but generally she says she found him to be professional and good to work with etc etc but that wasn't her only reason why she resigned basically mr. ghungroo Bella seemingly did not show confidence in the board as a whole and that was the reason why she left she didn't want to be part of a board that she felt there was no confidence in yeah yeah amazing I just as we we sort of wrapping up and and I've read a couple of articles about this and some analysis and there was one that stood out for me saying just a quote from the article saying for the Commission to restore its integrity it needs to investigate the untouchables which include white businesses that received more than 95% of all funding from P I see on the JSE and and this is just an opinion piece but basically saying to date the fact that almost a hundred billion rand of pensioners monies have been lost to white owned businesses in South Africa's economic landscape and they have sort of not been touched during this commission I don't know what your anyone to touch on a very hot topic well I don't know I don't know if I have a view on that but I think you know there is a narrative out there that you know when money goes to B EE or black companies there's more scrutiny and I would I would I would definitely agree that probably there many white companies that have been invested in you know that haven't really been up to the mark but the bottom line is black or white you must ensure that your investment prognosis is correct and your your investment you know the reason why you invest in that thing is the correct reason so that at the end of the day your investors get their return because they deserve it it doesn't matter as you say but but at the end of the day any company that's been involved in wrongdoing need to be forward and brought brought in to them into the light so it's going to be interesting but I think one of the most interesting testimonies as you said at the beginning of the interview would be from bunch of anomie so who started all of us so yes we should see him coming up in the next couple of days absolutely yes well I don't know when he's going to come up if he's going to come exactly certainly he is one of the the instigators of this you know it was on the back of his remarks that this commission was was set up by the president and I just like to say just from an operational SABC point of view there is coverage today my colleague imbalance mTOR should be covering that just to keep the nation up to speed as to what's coming out of the PRC Commission fantastic and well thank you so much for talking to us keep up the great work nan PCC ba economics journalist and anchor talking to us about what's transpired so far at the Commission just before its adjournment and that was a fortnight ago so still lots of revelations to come up there and as you heard stay tuned to NBC we'll bring you all of those details let's take a break



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The Public Investment Corporation Commission (PIC) resumes today after a two weeks break. Before its adjournment, the commission heard evidence from that the PIC senior management went ahead and invested in the Ayo deal despite the advice that the valuations were too high and the decision to invest was not a prudent one. In his testimony suspended PIC assistant portfolio manager Victor Seanie said this seemed be because of the perceived personal relationship between with former Iqbal Survé and Dan Matjila. Nompu Siziba, is an SABC econ journalist who has been reporting on the commission since its inception. For more news, visit: sabcnews.com

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