PIC suspends exec, manager pending investigation

22nd January 2019 By: Marleny Arnoldi - Creamer Media Online Writer

The Public Investment Corporation (PIC) has resolved to suspend listed investments executive head Fidelis Madavo and assistant portfolio manager Victor Seanie effective immediately amid investigations into alleged irregularities.

This follows responses that were given to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts in Parliament in December.

The PIC launched an investigation into the Ayo Technology Solution transaction, with specific focus on the role that employees of the PIC may have played.

A preliminary investigation report had been submitted to the PIC board on Monday. The report reflected a “blatant flouting of governance and approval processes of the PIC”, which implicates employees in the irregularities, the PIC said in a statement on Tuesday.

The PIC has been mired in allegations of poor governance and impropriety in recent years, with questionable investments and allegations of bribery against some senior officials.

The funding criteria of the PIC came under scrutiny in 2018, with questions asked over its purchase of R4.3-billion in shares in the initial public offering of Ayo Technology Solutions. The PIC bought shares at R43 a share, which have since fallen to R23 a share.

The Government Employees Pension Fund, the PIC's biggest client, last month said it had written off over R5-billion in its investments in Steinhoff’s empowerment partner Lancaster 101 and Independent News and Media SA.

The PIC has also been linked to VBS Mutual Bank with one official said to have allegedly received a R5-million bribe to facilitate payment of R350-million to the collapsed mutual bank. The PIC was a shareholder in VBS, holding about 25% of the company’s equity.

The PIC stated that it continues to uphold good governance and will do everything in its power to restore the integrity of the institution.