Friday’s extraordinary attack by Independent Media on critics of its executive chairman, Iqbal Survé, follows questions amaBhungane sent to Survé on Wednesday about the listing of another company he controls, Ayo Technology Solutions. Sagarmatha was due to list on the JSE on April 13, but the listing was aborted after the JSE withdrew its approval, based on Sagarmatha’s technical shortcomings in meeting the listing requirements. AmaBhungane raised concern ahead of the planned listing, principally about the possibility that Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) money, which is managed by the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), would be used to artificially boost the value of Sagarmatha. Now information has emerged suggesting that fear was well founded — including details of an earlier Survé deal, involving Ayo Technology, which was propped up with R4.3bn in government pension fund cash. Central to the Ayo and Sagarmatha deals was an offer of shares by Sagarmatha to selected priva...

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