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Much like a bank robbery shootout in a darkened street, the unfolding drama at the Public Investment Corp (PIC) has left many observers not entirely sure of who the bad guys are — and equally uncertain over who has control of the loot. The PIC manages almost R2 trillion in government employees’ pension and other funds, making it a powerful economic player. Finance minister Nhlanhla Nene knows that uncertainty over its leadership and governance — particularly after revelations of its shockingly ill-advised investment in VBS Mutual Bank — poses a significant risk to the fiscus. "I am deeply concerned about the alleged governance problems at the PIC and I am acutely aware that these require urgent attention and resolve," Nene states in court papers filed this month. Nene is opposing a UDM court bid to force him to suspend and investigate PIC CEO Dan Matjila over historic claims that he used his position to financially benefit his alleged girlfriend. But, as Nene’s 23-page affidavit mak...

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