PIC inquiry wraps public hearings, commission to prepare final report

The PIC commission of inquiry has concluded its public hearings into alleged impropriety at the state asset manager and will now prepare its final report for submission to President Cyril Ramaphosa on October 31.

Commission chair Justice Lex Mpati said, however, that because more questionable transactions had been brought to their attention over the past eight months, investigations would be ongoing. He said public hearings may be held again if needed.

After eight months, the commission heard from its last witness on Wednesday. Businessman Jayendra Naidoo, who co-founded Lancaster group provided evidence on his companies partnership with the PIC in the investment into Steinhoff.

Over the course of the inquiry, it has heard from 77 witnesses, including ex-head Dan Matjila.

"Today marks the final day of public hearings. Now our task is to review, assess, and make findings, propose recommendations and prepare final reports," said Mpati. 

Over the past eight months of hearing testimonies and investigations, additional questionable transactions have been brought to the attention of the investigative team, he added.

"The team will continue investigations and if necessary further public hearings will be held."

Mpati called for anyone with evidence, or who has been mentioned in evidence and who wants to place their evidence on record to do so by submitting a sworn affidavit.

Between now and September 30, evidence leader Advocate Jannie Lubbe will be the point of contact to the commission, he said.

The commission was appointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa and established in October 2018 to investigate allegations of irregularities at the corporation which manages over R2trn in state funds.

The terms of reference for the inquiry included investigations into any alleged impropriety regarding investment decisions, to determine whether any findings of impropriety following the investigation resulted in ineffective governance or functioning of the board, whether any PIC director or employee used their position or privileges or confidential information for personal gain or to benefit another person. Finally the investigation was also tasked with determining whether any legislation or PIC policies concerning the reporting of alleged corrupt activities and the protection of whistleblowers were complied with in respect to alleged impropriety.

The commission held its first meeting in November 2018 and began formal hearings in January 2019.

Ramaphosa, however, extended the commission's term twice. First from April 15, to July 31 and then again to October 31.