Lex Mpati. File photo: BUSINESS DAY/TYRONE ARTHUR
Lex Mpati. File photo: BUSINESS DAY/TYRONE ARTHUR

The commission of inquiry into the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) has been extended by four months.

President Cyril Ramaphosa granted the commission an extension with a final report expected on July 31 after an appeal by inquiry chairperson judge Lex Mpati in an interim report.

“The motivation for the request is the extent of the ongoing investigations by the commission’s forensic team into a considerable number of transactions, which must be concluded well in advance of the date of submission of the final report to the president,” the commission said.

The final report was initially expected to be submitted on April 15. 

The PIC invests more than R2-trillion on behalf of the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) and other government social funds. Several of its investments as well as the conduct of its executives and directors are under scrutiny at the inquiry.

The commission was established by Ramaphosa in October following allegations of impropriety at the PIC and is also charged with making recommendations on the governance arrangements of the asset manager.

The commission’s terms of reference have also been amended to include a new clause.

“The addition came as a result of allegations made before the commission that in certain instances the PIC might not have acted in accordance with clients’ mandate,” the commission said.

In February, the entire PIC board resigned. This followed numerous controversies that included allegations of corruption against four directors, including deputy finance minister and chair Mondli Gungubele.

Over the years the PIC’s unlisted portfolio has become an important source of funding for black entrepreneurs, fuelling allegations that deal-making is influenced by political connections and considerations.

menons@businesslive.co.za