Former Public Investment Corporation (PIC) CEO Dan Matjila on Tuesday related how the arrangement of Malusi Gigaba as finance minister in 2017 and that of his representative, Sfiso Buthelezi, denoted the start of the finish of his career at the asset manager.
Matjila said Gigaba and Buthelezi’s arrangement spelled inconvenience for him, as they promptly approached attempting to discover approaches to reject him.
“I knew that this development was going to impact on me on a personal level – that the gloves were coming off, so to speak,” Matjila told Judge Lex Mpati’s commission of inquiry into the state-owned asset manager.
“Adding to the intrigue, I received a tip-off from a reliable source that a plan to remove me was discussed at a secret meeting on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum around May 5, 2017.
“This I discussed with the former chairperson, Mr (Mcebisi) Jonas, and indicated to him that my intention is to resign, and I sensed that the PIC had ‘lost its innocence’ and did not see the way out and, most importantly, did not want to be party to what would be the undoing of the enormous amount of work in building the institution. Mr. Jonas begged me to stay and argued that things will improve – and I stayed.”
Matjila said the ascendance of Gigaba and Buthelezi to the top echelons of the National Treasury introduced a time of unsteadiness at the PIC.
He contended that he accepted, and still holds the view, that their arrangement was intended to capture the company.
“The agents of capture I believe were both internal and external. Externally, driven by the new Treasury leadership, and internally driven by a faction of Exco and some non-executive directors,” Matjila testified.
“It was clear to me that the PIC had been infiltrated by forces that sought to destabilise it. The catalyst of these divisions was James Nogu/Noko and the leaking of PIC’s confidential information to the media to destabilise the PIC. This culminated in my removal from the PIC.”
Nogu/Noko sent mysterious messages in September 2017 in which he made the first cases that Matjila was degenerate.
Gigaba and Buthelezi couldn’t be quickly gone after the remark.
Matjila likewise affirmed that he had withstood strain to put resources into Gupta-connected organizations.
He said he and his group were put under strain by both Trillian and Regiments to execute on a portion of the recommendations they were accomplishing for Transnet and Landbank.
“Around 2016/2017, Trillian approached the PIC to invest in a Transnet R6-to-R9billion private placement, and Regiments separately approached the PIC to assist in the Landbank’s balance sheet, restructuring in an amount of R10bn respectively,” Matjila said.
“We refused to support this proposal, as we did not see the need for a middleman because we have worked directly with both SOCs. It was clear to us, as it is now, that this was simply a method of fleecing public money. For this, I personally suffered and still do, but I am proud of the resistance that the team put up against this onslaught.”
The commission recently got notification from Transnet officials how Trillian Capital Partners was unpredictably procured to encourage syndication of banks to loan Transnet cash at an expense of R93.5million. Transnet was not by any means the only state-claimed organization to have noteworthy dealings with the Gupta-connected organization.
A month ago, the North Gauteng High Court requested Trillian to pay back about R600m it was wrongfully paid by troubled power maker Eskom.
Matjila is relied upon to proceed with his declaration today and to be interviewed later in the week.