Dan Matjila. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES
Dan Matjila. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES

The UDM has renewed its calls for the Public Investment Corporation’s (PIC) CEO Dan Matjila to be suspended over allegations that he hounded whistleblowers at Africa’s largest fund manager.

The embattled Matjila is accused of personally investigating the PIC’s company secretary Bongani Mathebula, who allegedly leaked unaltered minutes of a board meeting held on 29 September 2017.

The minutes were allegedly edited to remove criticism of Matjila’s conduct and its effect on the PIC’s reputation and how this would not be condoned.

The PIC, with R2-trillion under management, said the suggestion by the UDM that there is harassment of whistleblowers is "far from truth and is at best imaginary".

Matjila was accused in an anonymous e-mail on September 5 2017 of failing to comply with procedures when he approved funding for a company linked to a woman with whom he allegedly had a romantic relationship.

Matjila, who has denied wrongdoing or that the woman was his girlfriend, allegedly targeted several executives, including Mathebula, to trace the source of the e-mail.

In the matter involving Mathebula, she is accused of leaking the true minutes of a board meeting held on September 29 2017. Another version of the minutes was allegedly edited to remove criticism of Matjila.

Mathebula’s disciplinary hearing would resume in October, the PIC said.

But UDM leader Bantu Holomisa’s calls may again fall on deaf ears as PIC chairman and SA’s deputy finance minister Mondli Gungubele told Business Day that there was not yet clear evidence to suspend Matjila.

An independent inquiry – which is headed by advocate Geoff Budlender– into the matter was under way and investigators had not yet indicated clear evidence of Matjila interfering with whistle-blowers, he said.

"We are going to be thorough in this matter without fear or favour. I want to be held accountable on that," Gungubele said.

On Sunday, Holomisa called for government to halt disciplinary processes at the PIC until a commission of inquiry into governance at the institution was concluded and published its findings.

This commission is soon to be appointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa and its terms of reference are expected to include a review of the fund manager’s governance and operating model, as well as its investment decision framework.

Ramaphosa’s spokesperson said that the president had "applied his mind" to the terms of reference, which he still had to sign off. "I’m sure it will be in a matter of days." Recommendations for a commission chair were also received.