Carol Paton Writer at Large

The future of Public Investment Corporation (PIC) CEO Dan Matjila came under scrutiny again on Friday, when the board held a lengthy meeting at which it was put under pressure to explain how and why it had cleared him of allegations of wrongdoing in September. The PIC, which manages almost R2-trillion in government pension and other funds, is the biggest asset manager in the economy and SA’s most influential investor. It has been subject to some instability over the past year, with several attempts to oust Matjila and several suspensions and dismissals of staff. The pressure came from the new chairman of the PIC, Deputy Finance Minister Mondli Gungubele, who has been in the post only a few months.

Matjila was in 2017 accused by an anonymous whistle-blower of allocating funds for corporate social responsibility to a project in which an alleged "girlfriend" was associated. He was also accused of asking a company the PIC had recently funded to help settle the woman’s debts. Matji...

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