Former PIC CEO Dan Matjila at the PIC judicial commission of inquiry in Pretoria. Picture: FREDDY MAVUNDA
Former PIC CEO Dan Matjila at the PIC judicial commission of inquiry in Pretoria. Picture: FREDDY MAVUNDA

A lifestyle audit of Daniel Matjila, the former CEO of the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), showed no evidence that he took out an irregular loan from failed lender VBS Mutual Bank, a commission of inquiry heard.

Matjila, who is testifying before the ongoing probe into allegations of wrongdoing at the PIC, was accused by a politician of borrowing R2.5m from the bank, which has been linked to various corruption scandals. Matjila has denied the allegation, evidence leader Jannie Lubbe told the inquiry on Tuesday.

The inquiry is into whether SA’s largest pension-fund manager, which oversees about $150bn in assets, deviated from its mission to best safeguard pensions for more than 1.2-million South African state workers. The ongoing inquiry has heard from about 70 witnesses — several of whom flagged Matjila himself as playing a key role in approving questionable deals, which he denies.

Auditors at PwC are scheduled to present their findings of the lifestyle audit, which looked at other people involved with the PIC, to the inquiry next week. The commission’s forensic team will also complete an independent investigation into the allegations, Lubbe said.

PIC informed Lubbe a few weeks ago of a report by Nexus Forensic Services that said Matjila got the alleged facility. Bantu Holomisa, the leader of the UDM, sent an e-mail to Lubbe on Monday over the report.

In 2018, Holomisa called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to start an investigation into the PIC and has appeared twice before the commission, asserting that various people appear to have had easy access to PIC funding based on their relationships with Matjila. In April, Holomisa conceded that he had not  provided the PIC probe with evidence for his claims.

A separate investigation into the failure of VBS found that at least 53 people and companies may have benefited from the looting of R1.9bn from VBS before its collapse. Matjila’s alleged loan, flagged by Nexus, didn’t come up in this VBS report.

Lubbe also told the commission that PIC’s board scrapped a plan to present to the hearing next week.

In February, almost the entire board, including PIC chair and SA’s then-deputy finance minister Mondli Gungubele, tendered their resignations after the PIC ordered a forensic probe into whether acting CEO Matshepo More and two non-executive directors had acted inappropriately. They’ve remained in their posts while finance minister Tito Mboweni decides on their replacements.

Bloomberg