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

The Public Investment Corporation (PIC) and its recently departed CEO, Dan Matjila, both state that there is no dispute regarding Matjila’s departure from the state-owned investment manager.

“It is not true that I am contesting the decision of the board. The truth is we are discussing it as the deputy minister [of finance] has said,” says Matjila when asked for his response.

Matjila last week communicated to the board of the PIC that he intended to resign at the end of April 2019, after an appropriate handover period. But the PIC appeared to have surprised everyone when they decided on Friday to accept his resignation with immediate effect.

The PIC is the continent’s largest asset manager with investments of more than R2-trillion, the bulk of which comes from the Government Employees Pension Fund.

In response to media reports on Tuesday stating that Matjila’s letter of resignation may have been misinterpreted and that he was now “contesting” the terms of his departure, Mondli Gungubele, the chair of the PIC and the deputy finance minister, said this is simply not true.

“We don’t agree with that report. There are many issues we are not ready to divulge and are not prepared to get into an elaborate discussion about at the moment. But we felt that the letter he presented to us provided enough grounds for separation. Each party respects the others’ rights and views, and from our side we felt we needed to engage in a way that avoids creating uncertainty about the institution.”

Matjila’s contract with the PIC was due to expire only in December 2019. Gungubele says the PIC’s lawyers are yet to advise on what an appropriate termination payout should be. “The board unanimously acknowledges the role Dr Matjila has made in building the PIC. We are being legally advised on the appropriate sum with which to terminate his contract.”

thompsonw@businesslive.co.za